Idahoans could see a vaccine soon. But who would get it first?

Posted at 8:35 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-26 08:10:23-05

IDAHO — If all goes to plan, Idaho could have a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. Pfizerand Moderna have released promising information about their clinical trials. When a vaccine is available in Idaho, how much will it cost and who gets it first?

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Immunization Program Manager, Sarah Leeds, a vaccine could be in Idaho within a few weeks, but only if everything continues moving in the right direction. Most plans are still unofficial since new information is being learned almost every day.

"It's contingent on the FDA issuing an emergency use authorization and the advisory committee on immunization making a recommendation. Assuming all of those things go forward, we are anticipating the first dose of Pfizer vaccine will be shipped on December 15, and they will be in Idaho the 16 or 17 of December," Leeds said.

With supply limited, the first vaccines will go to health care providers, specifically in-patient and long-term care staff.

As of now, unofficially, Idaho is looking at around 13,500 of the first dose of the vaccine.

"If that is Idaho's allocation, we know that the CDC, however many doses they give us, they will hold back the same amount for our second dose because this is a two-dose vaccine series. We have to make sure we have the right number of doses for everyone who got a first dose to be able to get their second dose 21 days later," Leeds said.

According to Leeds, right now, there is not a plan for the National Guard to administer the vaccine. Leeds says, "we are enrolling health care providers to administer the vaccine at the local level."

With a limited vaccine supply, a smaller number of suppliers around the state are in the process of being enrolled in the COVID Vaccine Program over the last few weeks.