Gov. Little updates Idahoans on COVID-19 vaccine rollout
BOISE - Governor Brad Little announced Tuesday four key updates on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across Idaho.
"Our goal with vaccine planning and distribution is, in part, to reduce transmission and preserve a functioning healthcare system - and get back to normal as quickly as possible," Little said. "Idaho is administering the vaccine faster than the national average, and today I'm announcing strategies that will continue to advance us by building up provider capacity and increasing access, and efficiently and effectively getting Idaho's workforce and most high-risk individuals vaccinated."
First, Little assured Idahoans that vaccines are being administered safely and successfully in Idaho.
- The State of Idaho accepts all doses as soon as they are allocated by the federal government. All doses are then shipped directly from the manufacturer to local public health districts and healthcare providers.
- Since mid-December, more than 33,000 long-term care facility staff and residents and healthcare workers have received vaccines.
- "We plan to accelerate the pace while ensuring a sustainable cadence of vaccination moving forward," Little said.
- The Governor also distinguished the role of government versus the role of providers, saying, "The State of Idaho gets the doses and the resources to the providers, and the providers get the shots in the arms of people who want it."
Second, Little assured providers there are ample resources available to them to get vaccinations administered as quickly as possible.
- The State of Idaho has received millions of dollars to ensure the efficient rollout of vaccine in our state, and there are no resource barriers.
- Little said the State of Idaho will roll out a new plan to hundreds of hospitals, pharmacies, local public health districts, and other providers in the coming days to ensure providers have financial support to administer the shots as quickly as possible so the state can build up capacity and get more Idahoans vaccinated.
Third, Little said a new dashboard is available at Coronavirus.Idaho.Gov to shine light on vaccine distribution in Idaho.
- The Vaccine Data Dashboard shows the total number of people vaccinated by county. Additionally, the dashboard is being built to show how many doses have been shipped to each county as well so providers and the public can compare doses shipped versus doses administered in their county.
- "This is another step in Idaho's commitment to transparency throughout the pandemic," Little said.
Fourth, Little shared his decision that he is adopting the recommendation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee to open up the next phase of vaccine rollout to teachers, frontline workers, and Idahoans aged 65 and over.
- This will include an estimated 500,000 Idahoans.
- Little said he will prioritize teachers, school staff, first responders, and some other frontline workers between Jan. 13-31 before making doses available to the 65-and-up population.
- "The 65-and-older population is enormous, and there is still work actively being done to build up capacity among our providers to take on this population. We do not want to create a bubble or backlog. Once we get a handle on capacity, we will be able to get to the 65-and-older population," Little said.
- Little also said the health of our teachers is paramount to ensuring students can learn in the classroom, where they deserve to be.
- Idahoans aged 65-and-older will be able to access vaccinations between Feb. 1-15.
Idahoans are encouraged to contact their local public health district for information about where to access a vaccination. Additional resources on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is available at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.