BOISE, Idaho — The COVID-19 vaccine is top of mind for a lot of people and no doubt, something many of us are talking about on a daily basis. On Monday, Central District Health held a media briefing to share where they stand right now with that vaccine.
Although we're only in week 5 of the vaccine delivery, CDH told media, so far they are pleased with how things are going. However, residents should be advised, getting vaccinated is going to look different in each county and move at different paces.
“When one county in our jurisdiction is able to move through subgroups faster, we're allowing that to happen,” said CDH director Russ Duke. “We're not reallocating those vaccine doses to other counties at this point. So, it is very possible that Valley County, for example, may complete group one prior to Ada County.”
To date, CDH's jurisdiction has been allotted 28,300 COVID-19 vaccines, but only 13,000 doses have been administered so far because some of the allocation hasn’t arrived yet this week or it's still in the process of being administered, Duke explained.
“From my perspective, the biggest challenge we have is getting the vaccine, you know some of the initial projections were far greater than what we’re seeing, and from what we're hearing from our state partners, and they're the ones who get the information from the federal government, that we're not likely to see much in a way of increases in vaccine quantities being delivered in Idaho, at least in the next week or two, but we're hopeful that that will ramp up soon. We'll be able to get a lot more people vaccinated, that's the goal,” Duke said.
Monday’s briefing came as St. Luke's also announced it will now begin giving the COVID-19 vaccine to the community high-risk group. That's a group identified by the state of Idaho and includes high-risk non-St. Luke's healthcare workers, emergency responders, and very specific essential workers in our communities like dentists, pharmacists and long-term care facility workers and residents.
St. Luke’s told KTVB some long-term care facilities have an agreement with specific pharmacies so residents should check with them first before scheduling an appointment. It's also important to make an appointment so St. Luke's can plan just how much vaccine they need and they're opening appointments as they get vaccines.
“As far as the risk of showing up to the clinic two weeks from now and we're out of the vaccine, we don’t think that will happen, we have not yet had that happen yet, and the reason why is because we continue to work closely with the district health department and the state to ensure that supplies of the vaccine are available,” said St. Luke’s systems service line medial director for primary specialty care, Laura McGeorge.
St. Luke's said they will be checking proof of employment when vaccinating folks. St. Luke's administered approximately 8,000 vaccines by the end of Monday, according to the hospital.
If you fall within the state's designated Group 1A and would like to schedule an appointment, you can do so through St. Luke’s myChart account. If you have never used St. Luke’s services or are not able to use myChart, you can call St. Luke's Connect at 208-381-9500 to set up an appointment.