Many of the questions we receive from the public are related to when and where they can get a COVID-19 vaccination. Because of the limited supply of the vaccine at this time, some people have not been able to get an appointment right away. I want to reassure everyone that anyone who wants to get the COVID-19 vaccination will be able to do so. We are committed to this, but it will take time because of the limited supply we are receiving here in Idaho.
Supply and demand
On Monday, Feb. 1, Idahoans 65 and older became eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccination, and it quickly became obvious that the demand is far greater than the supply. To put it in perspective, there are roughly 265,000 people in Idaho who are 65 and older, and Idaho is receiving about 25,000 doses a week. It will take several months to get through this group, so we are asking for patience. Everyone who chooses to get the vaccine will be able to do so, but the appointments will be spread out during the coming months.
You can find more information on when and where to get vaccinated on a new page on the DHW website. This page outlines who can get vaccinated (by age and job classification), where to go to find a provider and schedule an appointment (when there are appointments available), and what to expect at your appointment.
COVID-19 vaccine allocation, ordering, and distribution infographic now available
If you are wondering how the COVID-19 vaccine allocation, ordering, and distribution flow works in Idaho, this will help you. Idaho is allocated a specific amount each week. The allocation is lower than we expected because 1) The allocation is based on adults over 18, and we have a lot of children in Idaho that make up our population; and 2) The federal government may be using old census data (Idaho has grown a lot the past few years).
We are working through this with the federal government, and DHW will keep the public updated through our websites and media briefings as we make progress on this front. We want to make sure Idaho gets its fair share of doses. Each week, we accept all of the first doses allocated to us, and the doses are distributed directly to the public health districts and/or enrolled vaccine provider organizations.
We are excited that so many Idahoans want to be vaccinated, but it will take some time to get everyone vaccinated, and, again, we hope you can be patient until it’s your turn.
Idaho is now in Stage 3
On Tuesday, Gov. Brad Little announced that Idaho is moving from Stage 2 to Stage 3, which means fewer restrictions. The downward trend of COVID-19 cases in December and January allowed Gov. Little to make this change. Under Stage 3 Stay Health Guidelines:
- Idaho remains open but with necessary limitations to protect lives, healthcare access, and the economy.
- Gatherings should be limited to 50 or fewer people. This does not apply to political and religious expression, educational activities, and healthcare related events such as COVID-19 testing or vaccination events. It does not apply to youth sporting events, as long as organizers comply with spectator plans administered by the Idaho State Board of Education.
- Face coverings are strongly recommended. Face coverings continue to be required for long-term care facilities.
- Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs should continue to operate with seating only.
- Everyone, including businesses, should follow physical distancing and sanitation recommendations.
- Large events, such as trade shows, weddings, and sporting venues with more than 50 people, may receive an exemption if the organizer submits an attestation to the local public health district confirming the event will follow necessary physical distancing and hygiene protocols as outlined in their safe operations plan.
- The Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Committee is meeting today, you can keep track of their work on the coronavirus website.
- There is a new frequently asked questions page on the DHW website. It is updated regularly, and you may be able to find answers to your vaccine questions on this page.
Have a safe and healthy weekend, and remember to: Wear your mask, keep six feet of distance between yourself and others, wash your hands often, cover your coughs and sneezes, and get your vaccine when it’s your turn!