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Public health districts in southern Idaho expect to receive shipments of Pfizer vaccine by Friday

Central District Health, Southwest District Health, South Central Public Health, and Southeastern Public Health lay out their distribution plans for Pfizer vaccine.

BOISE, Idaho — More than 13,600 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Idaho by Friday, and each public health district will get a different share based on their populations.

KTVB reached out to Central District Health, Southwest District Health, South Central Public Health, and Southeastern Public Health to find out more about their distribution plans for the vaccine.

Central District Health will receive five trays of the Pfizer vaccine, or a total of 4,875 doses.

Since CDH is located near the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, pick up will be easier for the local healthcare systems in the Boise area.

"St. Luke's, Saint Alphonsus and Primary Health do have designated locations that they will be going to and will be in receipt of [the vaccines] when they arrive,” said Brandon Atkins, spokesperson for Central District Health.

In other areas of southern Idaho, public health districts will play a much more hands-on role, since not all currently have the resources to store the vaccines at minus 70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit).

"There's quite a bit of different cold chain management that is having to be navigated by all these different jurisdictions in receipt of this vaccine,” Atkins said. “So it can be very tricky."

Southwest District Health is expected to receive nearly 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be appropriately stored until hospitals are ready to administer them. The shipment is expected to arrive by Friday.

South Central Public Health will receive 975 doses. A district spokesperson says some hospitals don't have the deep freeze resources needed to preserve the vaccines, so the district will help deliver the doses on dry ice.

Southeastern Idaho Public Health will also receive 975 doses, which will be divided among the hospitals in the eight-county region.

A southeastern district spokesperson says vaccines will be stored in ultra-cold freezers, followed by refrigeration for up to five days. 

All vaccines in all districts will be administered to healthcare workers by appropriate staff with a meticulous schedule to avoid any wasting of vaccines.

All 13,650 doses should be delivered to Idaho by Friday, with subsequent, weekly shipments.

"The vaccine can help delay and change the shape of what this virus is looking like within our communities,” Atkins said. “So that's very exciting."

Like the Pfizer vaccine, health districts in southern Idaho also expect the Moderna vaccine to receive an emergency use authorization from the FDA by the end of the week.

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