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First doses of COVID-19 vaccine could be in North Central Idaho next week

With the Food and Drug Administration approval for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine and it is expected that 975 doses will arrive in North Central Idaho as early as next week, according to Tara Macke, Public Health-Idaho North Central Idaho.

There may be another shipment of first doses before the end December, but it is unknown how many doses it will contain at this point. Even so, three weeks after that shipment, they expect to get another shipment of second doses for the same number received in the shipment of first doses, Macke said.

According to a Department of Health and Welfare post on their web site Dec. 4 Idaho continues to plan for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration considers emergency use authorization for two different vaccines so far. Idaho is expected to receive an initial allotment of 13,650 doses potentially by mid-December followed by larger allotments in the following weeks.

The Idaho Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) at its Dec. 4 meeting made a recommendation about which populations will be prioritized for Phases 1a and 1b in Idaho's COVID-19 vaccination plan. The recommendation will be delivered to Gov. Brad Little, who will make the final decision.

CVAC is recommending Phase 1a include healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Skilled nurses and those working in assisted living and intermediate care facilities are counted as healthcare workers in this phase.

CVAC is recommending Phase 1b of the vaccination plan include essential workers not included in Phase 1a. CVAC is recommending the following types of essential workers be prioritized for vaccination in Phase 1b in the following order:

  • First responders, including fire, police, protective services and community support personnel.
  • Pre-K-12 school staff and teachers and daycare workers
  • Correctional and detention facility staff, except medical staff already in Phase 1a
  • Food processing workers
  • Grocery and convenience store workers
  • Idaho National Guard
  • Other essential workers not already included and unable to telework or social distance at work

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine and the committee visit https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/idaho-covid-19- vaccine-advisory-committee/.

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