CASSIA COUNTY, Idaho — Healthcare workers across the state are beginning to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including front line workers at Intermountain Cassia Regional Hospital.
As Idaho News 6 has reported, the pace of the pandemic has been unrelenting for months, and for rural hospitals, it's been a scramble to keep up.
After the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine and the CDC approved and gave clinical guidance, millions of doses were immediately shipped to U.S. hospitals.
“The very hope of returning life to some kind of normalcy depends on this new vaccine,” said Dr. Bernie Boehmer, medical director for Cassia Regional Hospital. “I for one hope to be first in line. I feel confident that from reading the studies that we can all feel safe and be optimistic that the top of this climb we are enduring is in sight.”
Intermountain has initiated a tiered plan to vaccinate frontline caregivers over the next few weeks in stages. The Idaho Department of Health has implemented a roll-out plan for public vaccinations.
It is anticipated that the public can be fully vaccinated by the summer of 2021. It is still highly recommended that everyone in the community practice safety protocols with mask-wearing, proper handwashing and social distancing.
“As we enter this new phase of the pandemic with the vaccine in hand, I express my heartfelt thanks to everyone in our community who has been willing to inconvenience their lives in order to help slow the spread of the virus. You have made a huge difference in enabling our hospital to provide the level of care we strive for every day,” said Ben Smalley, Cassia Regional Hospital administrator.