BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) met on Friday, Jan. 22 at noon for their regularly scheduled meeting. The committee voted on several clarifying components of who will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Group 2.
During Friday's meeting, the committee received a presentation of the remaining clarifications for Idaho Group 1 and Group 2 vote results. Committee members were also introduced to the third group of Idahoans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for future discussion and votes.
Due to Idaho's limited supply of both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccine, the state has broken the vaccine distribution into four groups, with Group 1 consisting of healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff and Group 2 consisting of those 65 and older, first responders and K-12 teachers.
In order to ensure all necessary personnel are included in the appropriate group, CVAC voted to clarify several aspects of Groups 1 and 2.
First, CVAC voted to allow clergy who enter healthcare facilities to provide religious support, such as last rites for patients, to be included in Group 1. The committee voted 26-0 in favor.
The committee also considered whether foster parents should be involved in Group 2.1, which offers vaccines to first responders and "community support" personnel, such as child services. The committee voted 3-23 against.
Gas, electric and water utility workers are set to be vaccinated in Group 3 with other essential workers. The committee voted to clarify if this subset should be included in Group 2.1 with first responders, which ultimately failed with an 8-18 vote.
Finally, the group clarified that non-USPS package delivery service personnel will not be vaccinated at the same time as USPS workers. The committee voted 0-26 against.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little is expected to adopt, reject, or modify CVAC’s recommendations next week.
Dr. Patrice Burgess, chair of Idaho’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, also vaguely discussed vaccine progress, both locally and on the state level.
The committee was formed by the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare (IDHW) under Little's direction in October 2020. Members of the committee represent members of Native American tribes, priority populations, healthcare systems and providers, and immunization organizations.
During the meeting, Idaho Gov. Brad Little held a press conference to make an announcement regarding the COVID-19 emergency. Little lashed out at the Idaho Legislature, saying their efforts to limit his ability to make emergency declarations during the COVID-19 pandemic will put more Idahoans at risk of getting the virus.
To watch Gov. Little's COVID-19 announcement followed by the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee meeting, click here: