From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: DHW is committed to full transparency on the COVID-19 vaccine

When it comes to COVID-19 in Idaho, DHW is focused on vaccine delivery and administration and making sure we share everything we know with you. As part of our commitment, we have developed a COVID-19 vaccine page on the coronavirus website, which is updated daily. On the site and page, you can find:

As part of Idaho’s commitment to transparency, DHW is now hosting vaccine media briefings every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to listen in and/or watch the briefing, while the media representatives have the opportunity to ask questions. The log-in information is available each Monday on the coronavirus website.

In the first meeting, held on Jan. 5, we shared the following information:

  • The estimated timeline for when Idahoans can get a COVID-19 vaccine is available on the website. When the vaccine is available to each priority group, it is anticipated that Idahoans will be able to get the vaccine through normal vaccination locations such as their employer, physician’s office, local public health district, or local pharmacy.

    Idaho, in general, is taking the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on priority groups as a starting point. DHW then works with Idaho’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) to weigh in on our Idaho specific priority groups and sub-priority groups. To date, CVAC has ranked healthcare workers/LTCF staff and residents to get the vaccine first. They will review additional recommendations at today’s meeting.
  • Idaho’s allocated vaccine doses are shipped directly to enrolled healthcare providers and Idaho’s local public health districts. Recently, Idaho activated the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, which is a partnership with Walgreens and CVS to vaccinate residents in long-term care settings. Those vaccinations started on Monday, Dec 28. 
  • What is allocation vs. distribution vs. administration?
    • Allocation is the amount of vaccine the federal government tells us each week we are getting; this amount is based on Idaho’s population.
    • Distribution is the process of moving the vaccine that Idaho has been allocated from the manufacturer to the enrolled healthcare provider. Pfizer ships directly to the provider, and Moderna ships through a distributor directly to the provider. 
    • Administration is the physical shot in the arm. There are requirements for the administration, including scheduling, physical space, handling of the vaccine to ensure proper temperature control and use, observation of people who receive the vaccines for at least 15 minutes, data entry, and more.
  • A new vaccine dashboard will be available soon through the coronavirus website.

As a final note, this is new to all of us. We are being safe, and we are tracking doses administered. It takes time for enrolled providers to set up clinics and schedule appointments, and we appreciate your patience as the roll-out continues. The vaccine is a major step in our pandemic response; however, all of us need to continue to wear our masks, stay 6 feet or more apart, wash our hands, and stay home when we are sick.

I hope you all have a safe and healthy weekend.

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