Q: Where are the COVID-19 vaccine doses Idaho has received but not administered?
A: Vaccine doses are sent directly from the manufacturers to the providers, based on orders they receive from the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). DHW places orders for the vaccine as soon as they are available based on discussions with the local public health districts. The local public health districts are in contact with vaccine providers in their counties. DHW is not storing any doses or holding any doses back.
If doses that have already been administered are not showing up in Idaho’s Immunization Reminder Information System (IRIS), it could be because there is a slight data lag (providers have 72 hours to submit data about administration of each dose), or because providers have not administered them yet. Staff are also troubleshooting some technical issues we have discovered with IRIS and other data vendors that have caused some data for doses administered to not show up in IRIS. We have hired additional staff to help find those corrupt files and fix them so they show up in IRIS.
Q: Where can I find information to schedule an appointment for get a vaccine?
A: Idaho launched a new COVID-19 vaccination information web page on Friday to help Idahoans more easily find information on when and where to get vaccinated and what to expect when they get to their appointment. The new web page is https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccination. It’s also available by link at coronavirus.idaho.gov.
Local public health districts are responsible for implementing vaccination plans. Enrolled COVID-19 vaccine provider information is available on each public health district website, but the new state web page offers just one place where all Idahoans can find out when they are eligible to receive the vaccine and where to access enrolled COVID-19 vaccine provider organizations in their area.
The state web page also tells Idahoans which priority groups, by occupation and age, are next in line for the vaccine. It will be updated on a regular basis.
Q: What vaccines might be approved soon for distribution and administration, in addition to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Idaho is currently receiving?
A: Three large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress:
- AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine
Q: If I have already had COVID-19, should I still get vaccinated?
A: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, it is recommended that people get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have already been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
People who were recently infected may defer vaccination until 90 days after they were infected, to allow others to get vaccinated first.
At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from the virus after they’ve been infected. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccines lasts until more time passes after people are fully vaccinated. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are learning more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
To slow the spread of COVID-19 in Idaho, please continue to:
- Wear face coverings
- Keep at least six feet between you and others
- Stay home if you are sick
- Wash your hands often
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly
Stay up-to-date with the latest and most accurate information on COVID-19 at the following websites:
- Where and when to get your COVID-19 vaccination
- Idaho’s Coronavirus Website
- Idaho Rebounds Website
- CDC Coronavirus Disease Website
DHW also posts lots of information, including daily updates on the numbers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Dr. Christine Hahn is the state’s epidemiologist and the Division of Public Health’s medical director. She is board certified in infectious disease and works in the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho’s tuberculosis clinic twice monthly. She also serves on CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and since late February 2020, has been focusing almost solely on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.