BOISE, Idaho — Central District Health (CDH) is encouraging businesses within its jurisdiction to begin planning for the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Currently, Idaho is under Phase 2 of the rollout, vaccinating those who are 65 years of age or older.
An estimated 46% of those 65 or older have received the first dose of the vaccine since Feb. 1.
"It tells me the vaccine we’re distributing is getting into the arms of the people who need the vaccine," CDH Director Russ Duke said. "The highest risk group for sure."
Those in the 2.3 subgroup should work with their employers on how to access the vaccine when eligibility is determined. Those eligible includes:
- Food and agricultural workers
- Food processing workers, including USDA processing plant inspectors
- Grocery, convenience store, and food pantry workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Public transit workers
- U.S. Postal Services workers
- Flight crews
- Subset of essential gas, electric, water, and telecommunications utility workers, who work indoors
Other people eligible in subgroup 2.3
- Idaho National Guard (if not included in previous subgroups)
- Residents of homeless shelters
- Interpreters (ASL or other language)
- Janitorial and cleaning staff who work within any of these sectors or settings (including above.)
The group of people can't get a vaccine right now but Duke told KTVB it shouldn't be too much longer before they are eligible.
"I’m going to guess three to four weeks from today based on what our weekly allocation is and where we’re at with the uptake with the 65 plus-year-old'," Duke said. "They shouldn’t be setting up appointments yet because we have no idea at this point when it will actually open up to that group."
Employers may encourage employees to seek appointments through an enrolled provider or establish an agreement with an enrolled provider.
CDH is currently working to create a list of enrolled vaccine providers for on-site vaccine clinics. The list may be ready as early as this week and will be available here when ready.
Overall, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has improved significantly since the state first started and since Idahoans 65+ became eligible at the beginning of February.
The state is far enough along now with the 65 or older in the state, and the state is receiving more vaccine.
"Things are going better, not as quickly as we would like," Saint Alphonsus Ex. Medical Director and Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Committee Chair Dr. Patrice Burgess said. "Back then we were getting around 25,000 vaccines to our state per week and now we're pushing 40,000."
The state is also set to receive 13,300 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a spokesperson with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
While the state is receiving the shipment this week, they are not expected to get anymore in the next two weeks. The department said this is what they were told by the federal government. However, this could change if the company is able to ramp up production.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout can be found here.
At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.
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