The State of Idaho put out new guidance on when it expects citizens to get a vaccination to protect against COVID-19. Late last month we gave you details on the guidance provided at the time by the governor’s office and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
The vaccine process started last month, with doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna arriving in the state. 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.
To date, 33,168 Idahoans have received the vaccination – including 5,682 who have been given both required doses, and 27,476 who have had just the first of two shots.
Updated guidance, timing
Here’s the new guidance, and what has changed.
The phase that started in December is largely unchanged and includes hospital workers, long-term care staff and patients, EMS providers, and others. It adds two groups – staff of long-term or adult day care facilities as well as certain home care providers.
The second phase, which was set to start in February, will now start today and breaks into two subgroups. The first includes first responders, pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers and care workers, and correctional institution staff.
The next subgroup starts in February and will include all adults 65 years of age or older. This lowers the age from the previous 75 year threshold.
Food industry workers, including those working at food processing plants, USDA plant inspectors, and grocery/convenience/food pantry workers also can get shots in this group, as well as Idaho National Guard service members.
Previous guidance for “other essential workers not already included” has been removed, and replaced with three new specific groups, including manufacturing workers, public transit workers, and members of the US Postal Service.
The next phase would start in March instead of April as provided in the late-December guidance. The groups remain unchanged here and would include all Idahoans aged 16-64 “with severe medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19, as well as “essential workers not included in previous groups.
The last wave, which the state hopes to start in May will include all Idahoans over 16 years of age. It said it will “consider recommendations for children (aged 15 and younger) when a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for that group.”