COVID-19 vaccine recommendations and a groundbreaking child welfare system: An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

Today, the Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee made a recommendation about which populations should be prioritized for Phases 1a and 1b in Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. The recommendation will be delivered to Gov. Brad Little, who will make the final decisions.

CVAC is recommending Phase 1a include healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Skilled nurses and those working in assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities are counted as healthcare workers in this phase.

CVAC is recommending the following types of essential workers being prioritized for vaccination in Phase 1b:

  • First responders, including fire, police, protective services and community support personnel
  • Pre-K through 12th grade school staff and teachers and daycare workers
  • Correctional and detention facility staff, except medical staff already in Phase 1a
  • Food processing workers
  • Grocery and convenience store workers
  • Idaho National Guard
  • Other essential workers not already included and unable to telework or social distance at work

Idaho is expecting to receive approximately 13,650 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine by mid-December in its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, and then additional doses in the two weeks after that. Equal numbers of second doses will be shipped a couple of weeks after the first doses for people who received those. It takes about two weeks for the human body to build immunity after a vaccine.

The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee was formed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare at the direction of Gov. Brad Little in October and its members represent stakeholders from across Idaho, including the tribes, priority populations, healthcare systems and providers, and immunization organizations. Learn more about the committee and see materials from recent meetings at

DHW implements new child welfare system

Idaho completed and implemented a federally authorized Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (also call CCWIS) on Nov. 14, 2020. The project was completed on budget, in scope, and two days ahead of schedule. In fact, Idaho’s CCWIS, known as ESPI, is the first fully implemented child welfare system in the United States and becomes a model for other states that are trying to modernize and automate their systems,

The new system is already benefitting the families of Idaho: We have improved the time on safety decisions from an average of over 60 days to 14 days, and we have reduced the backlog of work from over 2,800 cases requiring safety decisions to fewer than 500 cases.

This new system will allow us to better serve the children, families, and foster parents involved in the child welfare system across the state. 

COVID-19 Communications toolkit now features Spanish versions

The COVID-19 communications toolkit on the coronavirus website now offers Spanish versions of our posters and flyers. These tools are available for free to businesses, healthcare organizations, and all those interested.

The new Spanish versions are:

  • Get Tested flyer and poster
  • Get Tested guidance
  • Get Tested newsletter
  • Holiday Gathering guidelines
  • Holiday Gathering guidelines
  • Recommended Precautions
  • Recommended Precautions

I wish you all a safe and healthy weekend. #MaskUpIdaho #ONEIdaho #StaySafeStayHealthy

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 vaccine recommendations and a groundbreaking child welfare system: An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

  1. Cyndie Campbell

    I’m a 73 year old cancer patient at Kootenai Cancer Center. I’m a high risk person not in a care home facility, I do not see anywhere I’m listed to receive the vaccine. Am I included with the care home individuals to receive the vaccine? How do I get on some kind of list? Can someone please help me?

    1. idhwmedia

      Thank you for your question. We are working hard to be able to provide more clarifying information for everyone about when people should vaccinated. In the meantime, because of your age and health condition, you will likely be in Phase 1. We will be posting additional information as we are able at, on the vaccine page. Here’s a direct link:

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