Dunleavy encourages Alaskans to get vaccinated

Dunleavy emphasized that the vaccines had been developed as part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in a Wednesday press release publicly encouraged Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In the release, the governor emphasized that the previous administration made an effort to develop effective COVID-19 vaccines before the transfer of power to President Joe Biden.

“Now, thanks to the efforts of President Trump and Operation Warp Speed, there is a safe, free, and widely available tool to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror,” Dunleavy said. “That tool is the vaccine.”

Dunleavy has worked with the Department of Health and Social Services since the spring to encourage Alaskans to make vaccine appointments so state businesses can reopen safely.

“Deciding to take the vaccine is a personal choice, and one the State of Alaska should and will respect,” Dunleavy said in the release. “There’s a lot of misinformation in the public, generated by the media and others. My request to Alaskans is to talk to their personal medical provider, and make the best choice for them and their families.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink was also quoted in the press release, stating that vaccines are the best shot Alaskans have at minimizing the risks of the virus. “Nothing is more effective in fighting this virus and getting us all back to normal than this game-changing tool,” she said. “Because this virus now spreads more easily from person to person, getting vaccinated not only helps to protect you, but it also helps protect others, such as our children who cannot yet get vaccinated, elders, or others who have weakened immune systems.”

Also in the release, Dunleavy emphasized the need for Alaska’s children to resume in-person classes.

“Children cannot afford to be out of the classroom another day,” Dunleavy said. “As a long-term teacher, and father to three students, I know children need to be with their peers in class to socialize and learn. There is no reason in-person learning cannot happen this school year, and happen safely.”

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.