Despite government messaging to the contrary, it makes little difference whether a particular Alaska community is highly vaccinated when it comes to preventing community transmission of COVID.

A June 11 report from the Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services highlights the most and least vaccinated areas of the state, and then provides a look at how each location is doing in terms of community spread of the virus. The state report claims that the “higher the vaccination rate, the more protected community members are from COVID-19.” This, however, is not reflected in the state’s own data.

In fact, the areas with the three lowest vaccination rates, Mat-Su, Fairbanks and Kenai, all have low transmission rates. Juneau, on the other hand, has one of the very highest vaccination rates, but its transmission rate is considered “intermediate” – more than double that of Fairbanks and Kenai.

Other locations, like the Southern Southeast region and the Interior region, have above average vaccination rates, but also the very highest transmission rates.

Below is a break down of vaccination rates and transmission rates for 11 regions around the state.

  • Juneau Region: 69% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Intermediate – 7.2 cases per 100,000)
  • Other Southeast Region – Northern: 64% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Low – 2.5 cases per 100,000)
  • YK-Delta Region: 62% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Low – 5 cases per 100,000)
  • Southwest Region: 58% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Low – 2.8 cases per 100,000)
  • Other Southeast Region – Southern: 55% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: High – 14.50 cases per 100,000)
  • Northwest Region: 52% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Intermediate – 5.5 cases per 100,000)
  • Anchorage Region: 50% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Low – 2.5 cases per 100,000)
  • Other Interior Region: 49% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: High – 12.3 cases per 100,000)
  • Kenai Peninsula Region: 41% vaccinated (Transmission Alert level: Low – 3.3 cases per 100,000)
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough: 41% vaccinated (Transmission alert level: Low – 2.5 cases per 100,000)
  • Matanuska-Susitna Region: 32% vaccinated: (Transmission alert level: Low – 4.1 cases per 100,000)

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State of Alaska report shows no correlation between high vaccine rates and low virus transmission

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.