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Saint Alphonsus set to expand COVID-19 vaccine appointment availability

Saint Alphonsus will open appointments to a new group of people after Central District Health announced expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine.

BOISE, Idaho — The early stages of the vaccine rollout in Idaho saw very limited supply and discouraged some people leading them to believe they simply wouldn’t get a vaccine until later this year. 

While there still isn’t enough supply for everyone, Saint Alphonsus Medical Group said things are really improving. For those that were frustrated by the vaccine rollout, this is encouraging news, according to Saint Al's Chief Nursing Officer Jennifer Misajet.

“We do have vaccine availability. We actually started doing first doses again on Thursday of this week,” Misajet said. “Now that we have sort of a good pattern and we have our first doses and booster doses lined up, I think we are going to be better able to meet the needs of the public and just be more reliable.”

 Very soon more people living in the Central District Health CDH) region will be eligible to get vaccines. CDH announced Friday in a statement:

We are seeing a sizeable increase in the number of vaccines coming to our health district. We've also seen a dramatic decrease in demand this past week from those 65 years and older, so we are opening up Subgroup 2.3 to ensure vaccine appointments are filled.

CDH is encouraging eligible Idahoans to call clinics or schedule online. The enrolled vaccine provider list for CDH can be found here.

If you are 65 or older living in the CDH area, which includes Ada, Elmore, Valley, and Boise counties, and you weren’t finding success in finding an appointment, now is a good time to give it another shot.

RELATED: CDH to open COVID-19 vaccine appointments to Subgroup 2.3 beginning Saturday

“I would highly encourage people to do that. We had actually seen a little tailing off in some of our appointment scheduling in the over 65 category," Misajet said. "I do think the health district appropriately looked at that and said, I think it’s time to expand who is eligible."

In case you missed it, Saint Alphonsus opened a vaccine center at the Village in Meridian to make the process easier for people.

“It really is a high throughput vaccination center. It takes us out of the hospital, which we think is a good idea because folks are not sick they are just coming in for a vaccine. So we are able to run, when we are at full capacity, as many as 24,000 people a week through there,” Misajet said.  

There is no guarantee that all eligible people wanting to sign up will be able to. Anytime new availability is announced it tends to go fast. Saint Alphonsus is encouraged by the flow of vaccine supple and their ability to get shots into arms.

“We will be opening up more appointments because we don’t want to open up and then not have the vaccine," Misajet said. "So as soon as we know what our allocations will be, we will continue to open new appointments and message that out to the public."

To set up an appointment through Saint Alphonsus, click here.

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