An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: New grants available to COVID-19 vaccine provider organizations; Busting myths about vaccines

Gov. Brad Little announced on Tuesday that new COVID-19 Vaccine Capacity, Safety, and Reporting Grants are available and can be used by enrolled vaccine provider organizations to increase staffing to administer shots, purchase needed equipment and supplies, and improve vaccine access for hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. The amount each enrolled healthcare vaccine provider will receive is based on the number of doses they administer.

The mass vaccination of millions of people throughout the United States is unprecedented. It takes coordination of massive and disparate systems that starts with the manufacturing of the vaccine and ends with a shot in the arm. In addition, the ability of clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and employers to ramp up to meet the demand takes the financial and logistical support of the federal and state government. In Idaho, we want to help our enrolled provider organizations hire medical staff, stand up clinics, and then schedule first and second doses for hundreds of thousands of Idahoans.

Busting myths for Idahoans

There is always misinformation being shared on social media, but I am committed to full transparency and sharing the truth with Idahoans.

MYTH: DHW is holding COVID-19 doses in storage and is not distributing them.

FACT: Idaho, through DHW, accepts all doses as soon as they are allocated by the federal government. We do not get to determine the number of doses Idaho is allocated. All doses are shipped directly from the manufacturer to local public health districts and healthcare providers.

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can’t be trusted because they were rushed.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines go through the same rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness, review, and approval process as other vaccines. Because pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing the vaccine during the clinical trials, they were able to make the vaccines available as soon as they were authorized by the FDA.

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines will likely give you serious side effects.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines can cause mild reactions, including injection site pain or swelling, muscle pain, headaches, or mild to moderate fevers that should go away in a few days. These are normal signs the body is producing an immune response.

Keep up-to-date on COVID-19 in Idaho

When it comes to COVID-19 in Idaho, DHW is focused on vaccine delivery and safe administration and making sure we share everything we know with you. Keep up to date by visiting the coronavirus website regularly or the DHW Voice blog.

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend.

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