TWIN FALLS — As both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continue to be distributed into Idaho, St. Luke’s announced Monday that they will begin administering vaccinations to the next high-risk community group.
Appointment scheduling opened at noon for the Boise area. It will become available for Twin Falls on Wednesday, January 13 and then available for Wood River the following day.
The next group of people eligible for the vaccines includes other physician offices, emergency responders, clinic staff, long term care facility staff and other specific essential workers like dentists.
“Both vaccines have the same effectiveness, so it doesn’t really matter which one you get," said Laura McGeorge, the System Service Line Medical Director for Primary and Specialty Care. "I would just highly recommend that you get one of them if you fit into one of these tiers where you are in fact able to get it.”
Those who want to be vaccinated within this next group will have to provide proof of employment through a badge, pay stub, or W2 form.
St. Luke’s officials encourage St. Luke’s patients to download and utilize the myChart app to make scheduling an appointment a much more efficient process.
“I was able to schedule my booster on the app and then I decided that appointment was inconvenient, and so I wanted to change the day, and I was able to very easily do that also on the app,” said McGeorge.
People that have never used St. Luke's services can set up a myChart by calling 208-381-9000. Those who do not have the ability to use myChart can call St. Luke’s connect at 208-381-9500 to schedule an appointment.
The South Central Public Health District is also assisting the vaccination process for other residents who may not be able to utilize St. Luke’s services.
“The health district will continue to offer our own clinics and we are reaching out directly to providers," said Brianna Bodily, Public Information Officer for South Central Public Health District. "As soon as we have a spot open up, as soon as we receive more vaccine and we have the bodies to actually help provide that vaccine or administer that vaccine. That’s when we reach out and put together a clinic. ”
Thus far, the South Central Public Health District has received 1,950 Pfizer vaccines, half of which are second doses, 7,200 Moderna vaccines, 2,700 of which are second doses. The district anticipates 3,300 of those Moderna vaccines to arrive this week.
St. Luke’s officials say they will have administered nearly 8,000 vaccines by the end of today. As more vaccines become available, they hope more people take advantage of them even though they are voluntary.
McGeorge said, “I can’t emphasize enough how important the vaccine is. This is what’s going to get us through and past the pandemic.”