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How to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho

The state is working with local health care providers to get more vaccine out to the public, and a new online scheduling tool is expected Jan. 18.

BOISE, Idaho — We continue to get a lot of phone calls into the KTVB newsroom from people wanting to know when and where they can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho.

Many of those calls are coming from senior citizens after Gov. Brad Little announced earlier this week that residents 65 and older have been moved up in the priority groups and can start getting vaccinated in February.

The governor accepted the Idaho COVID-19 Advisory Committee’s recommendation to open up the next phase of vaccine rollout to teachers, frontline workers, and Idahoans aged 65 and over. That will include an estimate 500,000 Idahoans.

Little said he will prioritize pre-K-12 teachers and school staff, first responders (firefighters/police), and some other frontline workers between Jan. 13-31 before making doses available to the 65-and-up population. Others in that group include daycare (childcare) workers and correctional and detention facility staff not already included as healthcare personnel.

Idahoans aged 65-and-older will be able to access vaccinations between Feb. 1-15.

Idaho is currently in Phase 1 and is working to provide doses of the vaccine to healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents. The first shots were administered in December and the state estimates there is about 130,000 people in the first phase.

A reminder, not everyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine wants to get a shot.

As of Thursday, there have 46,703 doses of the vaccine administered statewide, according to the state’s coronavirus website. So far, 37,777 people have received only one dose, while 8,857 people have received both doses.

Starting in mid-February these groups of workers will be eligible to receive the vaccine:

  • Food and agriculture workers 
  • Food processing workers 
  • USDA processing plant inspectors
  • Grocery, convenience store, and food pantry workers
  • Idaho National Guard not already included as healthcare personnel
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Public transit workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers

Beginning in March, other essential workers not included in previous groups and people aged 16-64 years with high-risk medical conditions can get vaccinated.

And the final phase is scheduled to start in May when the vaccine will be available to the general public, all those 16 years and older. 

The timeline for when a person can get the vaccine in Idaho is posted on coronavirus.idaho.gov.

Idahoans are encouraged to contact their local public health district for information about where to access a vaccination.

If you live in Ada, Elmore, Boise or Valley counties, Central District Health posted on Twitter Thursday that they are working with community partners to reach out to those eligible for the vaccine. You must make an appointment to get a shot. 

CHD is advising people 65 and older that they do not have a waitlist for the vaccine. People interested in getting a shot should contact their primary care provider. If that provider is not an enrolled vaccinator, they will provide you with a list of enrolled vaccine providers.

If you have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the state is constantly updating its coronavirus website. You can go there for a list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials say they are working to develop a new online scheduling tool that they plan to make available to the public on Monday, Jan. 18. It will be a place where Idahoans can go to sign up for vaccines and be notified by local clinics when they become available. Stay tuned.

"Hopefully next week we'll have a lot more information for folks on how they can kind of sign up and get in line for that vaccine," State epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn said Wednesday during a Facebook question and answer session