Gov. Little announces first meeting of COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee

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Posted at 2:23 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 16:23:55-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee will have its first meeting on October 23 according to an announcement from Governor Brad Little.

“The availability of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine is one of the biggest hurdles in getting our lives closer to normal. Here in Idaho, we have been planning for months for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, and our COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee will stay focused on making sure Idaho is ready when the initial supply becomes available,” Governor Little said.

Committee members are from tribes, priority populations, healthcare systems and providers and immunization organizations from across the state, according to the news release from the Governor's office. The members will use their expertise to enhance the vaccine distribution plan in adherence to federal guidelines and requirements.

For a full list of committee members, click here.

The initial vaccine supply is expected to be limited and will likely be offered first to healthcare workers. Vaccinating healthcare workers will protect them and patients.

While Idaho has experience in prioritizing scarce medical supplies, like the H1N1 swine flu vaccine in 2009 and Remdesivir earlier this year, the news release says the level of distribution amid the COVID-19 pandemic will be unprecedented.

“We want to assure Idahoans that vaccine safety is our No. 1 priority,” said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, state public health officer and executive secretary for the committee. “The committee will advise Governor Little and the Department of Health and Welfare on vaccine implementation strategies to ensure broad vaccination coverage throughout the state.”

The advisory committee's creation will ensure a coordinated approach with the interim vaccine distribution plan, which was submitted to the CDC by the October 16 deadline, according to the release. Meetings are open to the public and dates and details will be available here.