As we catch a glimpse of normalcy returning to Idaho, we are feeling a sense of hope due to the arrival of three effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines. March Madness is back, friends and family are planning summer vacations, and Sunday dinners with vaccinated grandparents are (mostly) back on schedule.
But hope is fragile. It is based on our belief systems and our choices. It is based on the expectation of a positive ending. In this case, the end of the pandemic.
Hope, for me, is based on the choices thousands of Idahoans are making every day. Idahoans are choosing to get the vaccine. They are choosing to protect their friends, family, and community. They are choosing to keep schools open, support local businesses, and believe in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
I am encouraging all Idahoans to choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines have been tested by more than 70,000 Americans. Millions of Americans have now received the vaccine. It is safe and effective.
I am encouraged by all the interest in getting the vaccine. Idahoans are calling and emailing the Department of Health and Welfare daily to let us know they are ready. Thanks to Gov. Brad Little’s leadership, there is an easy way to sign up. Just visit https://covidvaccine.idaho.gov/ and put your name on a list. An enrolled provider will then select your name and call you to schedule an appointment. That’s it. Leave the work to us.
If you are looking for information on priority groups, you can find the information on our website at: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccination.
The statewide schedule for vaccines has been updated on our website and opens vaccine according to the following schedule:
- March 15: Ages 55-64, with at least one medical condition*
- March 22: Ages 55-64, general population
- March 29: Age 45-54 with at least one medical condition*
- April 5: Ages 45-54, general population
- April 12: Ages 16 – 44, with at least one medical condition*
- April 26: Ages 16 – 44, general population
*Medical conditions are defined as “are at increased risk” and “might be at increased risk” per the CDC. Visit the CDC to see a full list of conditions that qualify as a medical condition. In addition, disabilities are also included as a medical condition.
As we all get our vaccines and look forward to the end of this pandemic, we still need to balance our hope with the reality that the virus is still among us. Until more people are vaccinated, we must continue to wear face coverings in public, stay 6 feet apart, keep our hands clean, and stay home if we’re sick.
Thank you for choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine and for your help in getting Idaho back to normal as soon as possible.