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When can you get a COVID-19 vaccination in Idaho? State provides timeline

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare laid out a timeline for when different groups of Idahoans “can get” a COVID-19 vaccination in Idaho. It gives an estimate to residents wondering “when can I get a vaccination?”

The vaccine process started earlier this month, with doses from Pfizer-BioNTech arriving in the state. A second vaccine from Moderna began arriving last week. The two vaccines reported high levels of efficacy in trials. The Pfizer vaccine proved 95% effective in adults in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and the Moderna vaccine proved 94.1% effective.

So far, 11,729 Idahoans have received at least one shot in the vaccination program, according to data from Health & Welfare. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots – a prime dose, followed by a booster dose. The interval for the Moderna vaccine is 28 days, while for the Pfizer shot it’s 21 days.

Idaho has an estimated 1.787 million residents, meaning about .65% of residents have started the vaccination program.

The new chart, produced yesterday, shows “estimated timeframes” for vaccinations in the state. The timelines will be closely watched in the coming months to see how the state measures against the initial estimates.

This month, December 2020

Healthcare personnel and people living in long-term care facilities started getting the shots earlier this month. The group includes a large number of subcategories, including hospital staff giving care to COVID-19 patients, long-term care facility staff/residents, EMS workers, dentists, pharmacists and public health and emergency management response workers, among others.

The state ranked priority within the group, in this order:

Hospital staff essential for care of COVID-19 patients and maintaining hospital capacity (includes support staff as well as clinical staff)1.1
Outpatient clinic staff essential for care of COVID-19 patients and maintaining hospital capacity1.1
Long-term care facility staff1.2
Home care providers for adults 65 years of age and older or for other adults or children with high-risk medical conditions1.2
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)1.3
Outpatient and inpatient medical staff not already included above who are unable to telework1.4
Dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants1.5
Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy aides1.6
Public health and emergency management response workers who are unable to telework1.7

Starting in February, 2021

The next group in the line includes essential workers and older Idahoans. This includes non-EMS first responders (like police and firefighters), childcare and school workers, prison staff, grocery workers, Idaho National Guard, and “other essential workers.” It also includes Idaho residents over the age of 75.

The state will also provide vaccinations to workers in food processing plants in this wave. This group has been especially hard hit during the pandemic.

The state ranked priority in this group as well:

First responders (other than EMS) and safety (fire/police/protective services/community support)2.1
Pre-K–12 school staff and teachers and daycare [childcare] workers2.2
Correctional and detention facility staff (other than medical)2.3
Food processing workers2.4
Grocery and convenience store workers2.5
Idaho National Guard (other than medical)2.6
Other essential workers not already included and unable to telework or to distance from others at work2.7

Starting in April

Two months later, the vaccination project will widen further. All adults older than 65 can get a shot, as well as members of the general population aged 16-64 who have “medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19.” The state will also open up the shots to any essential workers who weren’t eligible in the earlier phases.

The state did not provide any ranking guidance in this group.

Starting in May

Then, in May, the state says any member of the general public can get a vaccine.

The state did not list how it would prioritize this group.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at don@boisedev.com.

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