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Adams County must wait to continue COVID-19 vaccinations after completing Phase 1 before the rest of Idaho

The county was ready to move into Phase 2 days before the governor gave it the green light, frustrating residents like Linda Moyer.

COUNCIL, Idaho — Gov. Brad Little announced Tuesday that Idahoans age 65 and older have been added to the priority list for Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

It’s news some counties have been waiting to hear as they wrap up Phase 1 of the distribution plan.

Adams County was ready to begin Phase 2 days before the governor gave it the green light. Southwest Health District said that before allowing just Adams County to proceed to Phase 2, the district wanted to ensure all counties' needs were met.

Adams County resident Linda Moyer told KTVB that she found out that Phase 1 was completed when she called Adams County Health Center in Council to see if her 94-year-old mother could get the vaccine.

“They got all their healthcare workers [vaccinated], everyone who wanted to and they're ready to go for tier two, and I said 'OK, when can I come in?'” Moyer said.

She didn’t get the answer she had hoped for. 

Kelsey Adams, the medical center's immunization coordinator, told Moyer she had to wait until it was her mother's turn in Phase 2.

“We literally just have to wait because that's what the Idaho guidelines are saying because we have to make sure that tier group 1 gets vaccinated beforehand,” Adams said. “They want to make sure that everyone has the doses. We don’t want to just give everyone a bunch of first doses and not be able to complete the cycle with the second dose."

Adams said that what the public doesn’t see is the number of doses and shipments that have been cut. She said it’s a process that requires a lot of preparation and planning, that is constantly changing.

“It’s almost like you have to separate your emotional feelings, your personal feelings, and you have to triage the people who need it the most,” Adams said.

Moyer was relieved to find out during Gov. Little's press conference that her mother could get vaccinated in a few weeks, but she thinks there still needs to be some tweaks to the process.

“So the vaccines are sitting there and we can't start in our little rural community until the entire state is done with [Phase 1],” Moyer said.

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