In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, speaks during a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House is appearing in a new round of ads urging Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ads featuring Young are being paid for by the Conquer COVID Coalition, Young spokesperson Zack Brown said by email Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, speaks during a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House is appearing in a new round of ads urging Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ads featuring Young are being paid for by the Conquer COVID Coalition, Young spokesperson Zack Brown said by email Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

Young urges vaccination in new ads

Young, 88, “believes the vaccines are safe, effective and can help save lives.”

JUNEAU — The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House is appearing in a new round of ads urging Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ads featuring Rep. Don Young are being paid for by the Conquer COVID Coalition, Young spokesperson Zack Brown said by email Monday. The coalition, which includes businesses and health care and Alaska Native organizations, seeks to educate people on steps to guard against COVID-19.

Young, 88, “believes the vaccines are safe, effective and can help save lives,” Brown said in response to questions from The Associated Press. “He is a trusted voice to countless Alaskans and is a straight shooter. This is why his perspective is so valuable as we work to move the needle on vaccine.”

In March 2020, Young called the coronavirus the “beer virus” and to an audience that included older Alaskans characterized virus concerns as overblown. At the time, his campaign manager told the Anchorage Daily News the virus’ impact is real and that Young was trying to urge calm.

Young announced last November, shortly after being reelected to the lone Alaska House seat he’s held since 1973, that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was hospitalized.

“Very frankly, I had not felt this sick in a very long time, and I am grateful to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers,” he said following his release from an Anchorage hospital.

Brown said Young “has been a longtime proponent of COVID-19 vaccinations” and has done other service announcements supporting vaccines. Young’s office said Young was vaccinated in the spring. Brown said this summer Young used his congressional mailing list to send vaccine information to constituents.

Young’s office says the new ads featuring Young will run on TV and radio in Alaska. The coalition did not immediately respond to an email seeking details on the ad run.

The latest figures from the state health department showed 59% of eligible Alaskans 12 or older are fully vaccinated. Most of the state was listed at high alert level, which is based on reported cases over the past seven days.

More in News

Genna Stormer gives Santa a hug during Christmas Comes to Nikiski at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
December brings the holiday cheer

Groups across the peninsula get into the spirit of the season with public events.

Students from Tustamena Elementary School join classes from around the central Kenai Peninsula for a day of ice fishing with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Sport Lake on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game dives into ice fishing

The department hosted an online forum with tips on the winter sport.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council set to decide on planning and zoning remote access rules

The legislation being considered, if approved, would replace the word “telephonic” with “remote electronic.”

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State cases remain low; 2 deaths reported

Statewide there were 85 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with nine patients on ventilators.

Kathy Romain, the executive director of the Kenai Senior Center, hosts a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 to celebrate the facility’s 50 years in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Kenai loves its seniors’

Kenai Senior Center celebrates 50 years

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building in October 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Study: PFD increases spending on kids among low-income families

New study looks at PFD spending by parents

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Statewide COVID cases continue drop

On Monday, Alaska’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people was 268.6.

Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)
Omicron ‘an animal of its own’

State health officials emphasize unknowns, prevention measures in wake of new coronavirus variant spread.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

Most Read