Dunleavy vaccinated against COVID-19

Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (May 15, 2019) Photo courtesy of Paxson Woelber/The Alaska Landmine

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has been “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, Alaska’s chief medical officer said Wednesday, July 14.

Dr. Anne Zink said in an email to The Associated Press that Dunleavy “has been fully vaccinated and is doing very well.” She did not say when he was vaccinated.

This comes after Dunleavy’s office in February announced the governor had tested positive for COVID-19. He later described his experience as an inconvenience and said it underscored his interest in being vaccinated.

Zink said vaccination “is our best way to protect against additional cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.” Statistics from the state health department show about 51% of Alaska residents 12 and older have been fully vaccinated.

In response to questions from the AP earlier Wednesday, Dunleavy spokesperson Corey Allen Young said the governor had gotten the vaccine but referred questions about when to Zink.

The Republican governor had said in December, around the time the state’s vaccine rollout was beginning, that he planned to get vaccinated. But he also said it was a personal decision, adding that whatever choice Alaskans made should be respected.

In a video released in April, Dunleavy said he was getting the vaccine. In an accompanying statement on social media, he said vaccination “will not be mandated by the state, but I hope you consider it. I’m getting the vaccine because I want to help Alaska businesses get back to work and do the things we all love to do as Alaskans.”

Young said Dunleavy’s vaccination “was a private decision, which is what he has always advocated for in dealing with this virus.”