From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: I urge you to choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine as the number of COVID-19 cases are on the rise

Every single COVID-19 indicator in Idaho is heading in the wrong direction.

  • The number of cases has started to rise.
  • The statewide seven-day moving average of cases per 100,000 has risen from a low of 3.4 on July 5 to 10.1 on July 22.
  • COVID-19 testing positivity is increasing from a low of 2.8 percent four weeks ago to 5.7 percent this week.
  • The number of long-term care facilities with active COVID cases has risen from a low of 14 a few weeks ago to 24 on July 23.

I am concerned, as many of you are, about what this means as we approach flu season, head back to school, and return to indoor activities.

The best way to protect yourself, your family and friends from COVID-19 is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. As of today, 49.1 percent of those 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. We all need those numbers to go up, and we are counting on the people of Idaho to get vaccinated.

We need more people to choose to get vaccinated. The reality of our current COVID-19 situation is that the pandemic is disproportionately affecting the unvaccinated. And, because children under 12 cannot get vaccinated at this time, the best way to protect them and others who can’t get vaccinated is to make sure those around them are vaccinated.

Since May 15, 2021:

  • 95.5 percent of COVID-19 cases are among those not fully vaccinated
  • 94.7 percent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated
  • 94.2 percent of people who died from COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated

Part of the issue we all face is the amount of misinformation being shared on social media and on other communication channels. The blatant attempts to provide misinformation are harmful to the people of Idaho. It’s disheartening. I would encourage you not to be sidelined by misinformation. Find trusted sources of information. Share information from trusted sources. Discourage others from sharing information from unverified sources. Focus on the science. Focus on the facts.

One fact is that over 160 million Americans, including over 700,000 Idahoans, have taken the vaccine over the past year. Other facts:

  • This vaccine is safe and effective.
  • The vaccines do not give you COVID-19.
  • There is no scientific evidence that it causes infertility or an increased risk of miscarriage.
  • None of the vaccines impact your DNA in any way. The vaccine does not cause cancer.
  • Vaccines do not cause autism.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus, and therefore, the vaccines do not shed virus or cause vaccinated people to shed virus.
  • There is no vaccine microchip, and the vaccine cannot track people or gather any personal information.

For those who have chosen to get the vaccine, I thank you. For those who have not yet been vaccinated, I urge you to consider getting the vaccine. 

Find a vaccination location near you by visiting: There are mobile clinics and walk-in locations across the state.

Stay up-to-date with the latest and most accurate information on COVID-19 at the following websites:

DHW also posts factual COVID-19 information daily on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

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