A call to action from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: School is about to start, and we can help keep our kids in the classroom by getting the COVID-19 vaccine

With today’s busy lifestyles, many Idahoans just haven’t found the time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We know some people just can’t or won’t get the vaccine, but there are others that are looking for a convenient time or place to get vaccinated.

Now is the time.

School is about to start. Our hospitals are starting to feel the strain of more and more COVID patients. Let’s support our teachers, our kids, and our healthcare workers by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yesterday, Gov. Brad Little held a press conference at Nampa High School to encourage Idahoans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Like the Governor, I want Idaho children to attend school in the classroom. I emphatically agree with Gov. Little when he said, “Idaho students are headed back to their classrooms starting next week. As I’ve stated from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students need to be able to learn in their classrooms with their teachers and peers. Our main defense in ensuring the new school year is entirely in-person – free from outbreaks and quarantines – is the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Gov. Little also shared the following information:

  • 98.9 percent of new COVID-19 cases since Jan. 1, 2021, were people not fully vaccinated
  • 98.6 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations since Jan. 1, 2021, were people not fully vaccinated
  • 98.7 percent of COVID-19 deaths since Jan. 1, 2021, were people not fully vaccinated
  • Since May 15, there have been 10 times as many COVID-19 cases among people not fully vaccinated compared to fully vaccinated people
  • Since May 15, there have been 13 times as many COVID-19 hospitalizations among not fully vaccinated people compared to fully vaccinated people
  • Since May 15, there have been 8 times as many COVID-19 deaths among not fully vaccinated people compared to fully vaccinated people.

We know everyone is feeling overwhelmed by the ongoing pandemic. I know many of you are frustrated with a return to prevention strategies (for example, wearing a mask), but this is the reality of COVID-19. The virus is mutating, and the new Delta variant is twice as contagious.

We have to continue to battle this pandemic and protect the vulnerable in our society, including our children who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated and are about to spend every day in a group setting.

We all need more people to get vaccinated in Idaho. If we don’t, the resurgence of COVID-19 and the Delta variant will impact our hospital capacity and our ability to receive medical care when we need it most, our in-person schooling, our workforce, and our economic strength. It’s up to us to protect all that we hold dear.

If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It is safe, and the best defense we have against COVID-19. It will protect you from serious illness and even death

I hope you all have a safe and healthy weekend.  

One thought on “A call to action from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: School is about to start, and we can help keep our kids in the classroom by getting the COVID-19 vaccine

  1. School is about to start and safety is top of mind, so it’s a great initiative to get students, teachers, and staff members get covid vaccinated.

    In fact, schools can take this step themselves by providing vaccine centers for their students, teachers, and staff. I appreciate you sharing this information with us, which will help the school take action.

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