Alaska's governor offers vaccines to B.C. and Yukon residents
'We’re willing to help our neighbours,' says Gov. Mike Dunleavy
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy says he wants to offer vaccines to residents in Stewart, B.C. in the hopes that it might permit Canada and the U.S. to reopen the international border sooner.
"We feel we have enough vaccines to go and vaccinate folks in Stewart that have not yet been vaccinated if they so choose," Gov. Dunleavy told Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos.
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Travel restrictions implemented by the federal and provincial governments have made it very hard for residents in Hyder, Alaska to access essential services and supplies in neighbouring Stewart.
The governor is also offering his state's surplus doses to Yukon residents, saying it could pave the way for a potential pandemic bubble encompassing Alaska, B.C. and Yukon.
"We believe that we're going to have enough vaccines for folks to come over from the Yukon," he said. "We do have a large supply of vaccines at this point. We'll vaccinate anyone that comes into the state of Alaska."
Alaska's vaccination rollout is going well, said Dunleavy. In March, his state became one of the first in the U.S. to offer COVID-19 vaccines to adults over the age of 16.
"Alaska's done a fairly good job of managing this virus, and we were a leader in getting the vaccination out to our people," he told Power & Politics.
The situation in B.C. is starkly different. There, only 30 per cent of those eligible for a vaccine have received at least one dose.
Saskatchewan and Alberta, meanwhile, have reached an agreement with North Dakota to vaccinate truckers and energy workers crossing the Canada-U.S. border.
With files from the Associated Press.