BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare (IDHW) held its weekly meeting to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen, Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Idaho Bureau of Laboratories Chief Dr. Christopher Ball, Idaho State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn, Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Turner, and Idaho Immunization Program manager Sarah Leeds were present during the meeting.
Idaho's COVID-19 seven-day moving case average continues to trend downward, and for the first time in months, the statewide positivity rate is below 5%, coming in at 4.8%, according to Jeppesen.
All Idaho counties are currently reporting 25 or fewer new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
Over 400,000 Idaho residents are fully vaccinated, but the state saw a decline in the number of vaccines administered last week, due in part to the pause of distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Idaho's administration rate is currently 73.1%, compared to 80% administration nationally.
During the April 13 meeting, IDHW discussed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendation to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine following reports of blood clots in six women who received the shot.
IDHW echoed the recommendation from the CDC during last week's meeting, stating Idahoans with appointments to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should reach out to their providers and seek the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The department sent a notice of the pause to vaccine providers and Idaho Gov. Brad Little early Tuesday morning, according to Hahn.
While the Janssen vaccine is on hold for now, Hahn announced that Pfizer applied for emergency use authorization for children aged 12-15. Pfizer is currently the only vaccine approved for people aged 16-17, and they plan to begin vaccinating the 12-15 age group before the new school year begins.
The IDHW meeting will be live-streamed on KTVB.COM and the KTVB YouTube channel. To watch the briefing live, click below: