A village in Alaska has mandated that full vaccinations are required for in-person shopping.
Kongiganak, the Alaskan town with approximately 459 residents as of 2010, is requiring all shoppers to be vaccinated to enter the store. The town is 95.8% Native American, affiliated with the tribe by the same name as the town, Kongiganak. The “census-designated place” has a population of less than 500.
Sheila Phillip, the Kongiganak Traditional Council secretary, said that people are allowed to shop only if they’re fully vaccinated, wear two masks, and follow social distancing guidelines. This includes grocery stores.
Shop owners know if a customer is vaccinated by reportedly checking the customer’s name on a list provided by the tribe. How this passes health privacy guidelines is anyone’s guess.
Qemirtalek Coast Corporation general manager, Harvey Paul, confirmed this, stating, “Every couple of days, they’ll give us a new list. The list keeps getting bigger and bigger. That’s a good sign, you know?”
The mandate is aimed at compelling citizens to receive the vaccine, 50% of Kongiganak citizens have received one dose as of April 9th. “It gives them the incentive, ‘Hey look, I better get vaccinated too so I can go to the store,’” Paul said. “The best way to curb this virus is to get vaccinated.”
Many other Alaskan village businesses are requiring customers to be fully vaccinated before entering their buildings. Meanwhile, Native Americans are encouraged to remember First Peoples’ history, and stop volunteering to be lab rats in experimental medical trials.