An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Latest research helps us better understand vaccine confidence among Idahoans

At certain times during the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho conducted research to help us understand current awareness and understanding of COVID-19, safety precautions, and the COVID-19 vaccine. Recently, the state conducted a survey with 300 Idahoans who are currently unvaccinated. We wanted to understand if they will choose, at some point, to get vaccinated and what would be the reason. And, if they are choosing to not get vaccinated, what has led them to that personal decision?

Some highlights of the survey results include:

  • Many people are in the “wait and see how things go” mindset. This means people will decide, in their own time, when they will get the vaccine. They are not against getting vaccinated, but they may be looking for a trigger (travel, school starting, etc.) or time and convenient access to the vaccine because of their busy lifestyles.
  • Many people also indicated they wanted to wait for a year or so to see how things were going.
  • Most unvaccinated people are not concerned about getting COVID-19. They do express some concern about and the possible side effects of the available vaccines. (Note: Some more common side effects are swelling, redness, and pain at the injection site; fever; headache; tiredness; muscle pain; chills; and nausea. Serious side effects are extremely rare.)
  • For those who are likely to get the vaccine, convenience is a major concern. Idahoans also indicated a preference for getting the vaccine at a pharmacy.
  • Those likely to be vaccinated in the future are concerned about time off work for the appointment OR if they experience side effects. (Note: Gov. Brad Little took this concern to heart and has set the example for other leaders in Idaho. He gave state employees four hours of paid leave if they have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine or if they will be doing so in the future).
Continue reading “An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Latest research helps us better understand vaccine confidence among Idahoans”

Have a safe Fourth of July weekend: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

This upcoming holiday weekend is a test for all of us. Can we enjoy our beautiful state, spend time with family, take a vacation, and still keep ourselves and communities safe from the spread of COVID-19?

The answer is: We can. I hope you will remember to do your part this weekend to keep Idaho open and protect our vulnerable loved ones. It’s a personal choice, but I hope you take that choice seriously. Because COVID-19 is no joke.

We need to slow the spread

We know that the majority of new cases are in Ada County and, in particular, there is a surge in new cases among young adults. Central Health District made the tough but appropriate and critical decision to move Ada County back to Stage 3 through a new Order.

Because of the continued increase in cases among young adults in many counties across the state, it is more important than ever to encourage young adults to take recommended precautions to protect those who are vulnerable in our state. We need to protect our parents and grandparents. We need to protect those with immunosuppressed systems. We need to show our families, friends, and communities that we understand we are all in this together, and we will do whatever we can to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Young adults may show very few symptoms and may even be asymptomatic, but they can spread the virus to others who may be more vulnerable. Let’s work together to keep our families safe. It really does take all of us.

Continue reading “Have a safe Fourth of July weekend: A message from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen”

Your child broke a glow stick? Call the Idaho Poison Center

Most parents recognize the fact that fireworks and small children just don’t mix.  Glow sticks and glow jewelry are a safer alternative to bottle rockets and sparklers that can cause serious burns.  But these brightly colored glow products are soft and pliable and easily broken open, especially by children.

A child with a glowing mouth can cause some anxious moments for parents, but it’s typically not worth a trip to the emergency room. Even so, parents should call the Idaho Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to be sure. Continue reading “Your child broke a glow stick? Call the Idaho Poison Center”

Safety first for the Fourth!

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, so it’sFireworks high time to refresh our knowledge of the precautions we should take if we’re lighting off fireworks. We’d really like for all Idahoans to make it through the weekend without causing any fires, injuries, or burning your neighborhood down.

Aren’t many fireworks illegal?

Yes, they are… Before you buy any fireworks, you should check with your city for a list of those that are legal. Generally, any firework that leaves the ground or explodes is probably going to be illegal because they are dangerous. If you’re lighting fireworks, point them away from homes, and keep them away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.  Continue reading “Safety first for the Fourth!”