As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out to more people across the U.S., one state is now offering the shot to all individuals that are aged 16 or older.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on Wednesday that effective immediately, the COVID vaccine would be available to anyone that lives or works in Alaska and is aged 16 or older.

Alaska is the first state in the U.S. to eliminate eligibility requirements to receive the COVID vaccine. States across the U.S. have opened the COVID vaccine to teachers as well as offering the shot to those with underlying health conditions and adults over the age of 65.

To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has administered at least one dose of the COVID vaccine to over 61 million people. Over 32 million people are fully vaccinated, the agency said.

As Dunleavy made the announcement to residents of Alaska, he said: “This historic step is yet another nationwide first for Alaska, but it should come as no surprise. Since day one, your response to the pandemic has been hands-down the best in the nation.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Alaska’s response. From being the first state to offer widespread testing, to maintaining one of the lowest mortality rates in the country, to rolling out vaccinations to every willing Alaskan, we got here by working together,” he added.

Alaska has reported over 57,000 positive cases of the coronavirus and 301 COVID deaths, according to the state’s Department of Health and Social Services.

Individuals that are 16 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, while the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID vaccine can be administered to adults 18 and older.

Alaska has seen a strong response to receiving the COVID vaccine among seniors, who were the first eligible to receive the shot in the state. According to the governor’s office, the Kodiak Island, the Petersburg Borough, and the Kusilvak Census Area are nearing or exceeding 90% vaccination rates among seniors.

Alaska has administered about 291,000 doses of the COVID vaccine statewide to date, the governor’s office said.

The rollout of vaccines around the world, slowing infection rates and the prospect of more US stimulus continues to support markets, though inflation worries persist The rollout of vaccines around the world, slowing infection rates and the prospect of more US stimulus continues to support markets, though inflation worries persist Photo: AFP / Aizar RALDES