Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee discuss a vaccine plan update and more

COVID-19 vaccine candidate begins final test
Posted at 11:08 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 18:36:14-05

The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee held a virtual meeting today from 12-2 p.m. to discuss a vaccine planning update, vote on priority populations and the BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccine studies.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is expecting the state to receive about 13,650 of the first dose of the vaccine in mid-December and the same number of the second doses about three weeks later. IDHW says they do not anticipate a shortage of the second round of doses.

The CDC voted Tuesday to recommended those who are most at risk of contracting the virus, health care workers and those in long-term care facilities, get the first doses.

EMT'S, teachers and correctional staff are among the recommended groups to receive the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho.

Idaho was initially set to receive a higher number of doses but the national allocation number for the first distribution changed - leaving Idaho expecting 13,650 first-round doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

"That's how we have 13,650, which makes the choice for those first groups of people very difficult. We have way more health care providers in that group than 13,650. Still, the good news is that we anticipate a pretty significant ramping up of doses," Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Immunization Program Manager Sarah Leeds said during the meeting.

More doses are expected to follow, but only about 30% of Idaho's population will be covered by the first round of expected Pfizer doses.

With Moderna's vaccine going under review on December 17th, Idaho could see around 28,000 doses in addition to another 15,000 doses of Pfizer by week two of allocation. Ultimately if both vaccines are approved, Idaho could have almost 90,000 doses combined, according to the meeting's information.

"I think what is important for everyone to understand is that we will have enough allocation in the first three weeks of allocation to cover the long-term care facilities and healthcare personnel," Idaho State University Assistant Professor Ecological Genomics & Invasion Biology Kathryn Turner said during the meeting.

Local health districts and enrolled providers will be responsible for vaccine distribution, handling and storage.

While there's no official plan yet, Governor Little says the National Guard could help if the local health districts need assistance administering the vaccine.

"The Guard's basic role is to do whatever they can to help in health care capacity. If it's logistics and getting people through the line for vaccinations will be it or if the health care people say we need more help logistically in testing. So it's just, which is what the Guard always does is handles logistics," Little said.

The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee, created by Governor Brad Little, advises the Governor on the prioritization of vaccines when they are in small supply, the vaccination plan, and on communication and delivery of the vaccine.

The public is invited to provide input through this email: