Little increasing Idaho National Guard personnel to help with vaccine distribution

Gov. Brad Little gives 2021 State of the State address
Posted at 12:12 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 14:12:20-05

Gov. Brad Little plans to increase the number of Idaho National Guards personnel to help the state with COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Little announced Tuesday he will increase the number of available troops from 250 to 400 later this week. The additional guardsmen will help with vaccine distribution in Idaho's pandemic response, according to a news release.

"Our women and men in the Idaho National Guard have stepped in to meet critical needs at healthcare facilities across Idaho since the fall, and the availability of additional guardsmen to assist with vaccine distribution moving forward will help us even more in the pandemic fight,” Governor Little said in a statement.

The state will also offer healthcare providers more grants to help with vaccine administration, Little announced Tuesday. The grants, known as COVID-19 Vaccine Capacity, Safety, and Reporting Grants, can be used to help with staffing, equipment and supplies needed and improve vaccine access "for hard-to-reach populations."

Around 300 Idaho National Guar personnel are already in Washington D.C. as part of a national group of guardsmen helping with staffing and security for the inauguration Wednesday. The state has already been utilizing the guardsmen to help with COVID-19 testing and more as part of the pandemic response.