Gov. Brad Little answered COVID-19 related questions Tuesday in an hour-long AARP call with Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen.
Callers asked Little about vaccine mandates, when COVID-19 will end in Idaho and even about the non-FDA-approved drug Ivermectin.
.@GovernorLittle and @IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen will answer questions from the public about COVID-19 during an hourlong @AARPIdaho telephone town-hall on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at noon MT/11 a.m. PT. The toll-free number is 866-767-0637. pic.twitter.com/dhK5TrLwYx— Idaho Public Radio (@IdahoPubRadio) September 27, 2021
Idaho still sits among the states with the lowest vaccination rate, which is something Little urges hesitant Idahoans to talk to an expert about.
“For the people that have been hesitant, I'm urging them to reach out to the people they have great confidence in to get our vaccine rate up,” Little said.
A handful of calls from Idahoans were related to Ivermectin — the non-FDA-approved livestock medication some claim helps COVID-19 infections. The FDA says Ivermectin should not be used to treat or prevent COVID-19 and Little says hospitals cannot give out non-FDA-approved medication.
“If it's not approved and not safe, the hospitals aren’t recommending it. Hospitals obviously are in the business of delivering treatment that is certified by the FDA and whoever may certify it. You can't go into the health care providers and hospitals and arbitrarily pick some treatment and have it administered,” Little said.
Little echoed health officials' message for weeks that the vaccine is the safest option for Idahoans, but he added with Idaho's vaccination rate, COVID-19 will be around for a while.
“There was a point in time where we thought when it wasn’t spread as much, and we thought we'd have 70% to 80% of our population fully vaccinated it would go away. Given how broad it is and given the way it's mutating, it's going to be around for a long time,” Little said.