IDAHO — As the COVID-19 delta variant spreads, the push to get more Idahoans vaccinated against COVID-19 continues and both St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus have mobile units to help reach rural and other under-served areas.
They both say overall, the mobile clinics have been a success.
“One of the times we were out at a high school out at the Caldwell area someone who was driving by pulled over and said, “Oh, I’ve wanted to get a vaccine, but it’s been difficult. I’ve heard in the news.” and so we would say, "Well we can get you in right now," Scott Milner, the senior director of pharmacy said.
Milner says situations like this are what makes him think the mobile vaccine clinics are successful.
Elizabeth Barber, the regional director for community health and well-being at Saint Alphonsus echoed this, saying people seem to be making the decision to get vaccinated in real-time at the clinics.
The number of people getting vaccinated at the mobile clinics hasn’t dramatically dropped off.
“For us, you know getting 40 or 50 people at one mobile clinic is a great success, and 10 or 15, that’s okay too,” Barber said.
She also said in some communities, there’s still a lot of interest in getting the vaccine.
“We find with certain communities where access may be an issue either because they’re so remote or because there’s not a lot of options within the community. Or with specialized communities like the migrant farmworkers who may just not have transportation or the availability within their work hours to go, those things seem to still be a factor," Barber said.
Both Milner and Barber said there are some people who aren’t coming back for the second dose, but the same thing is happening at non-mobile vaccine clinics.
Central District Health says four cases of the delta variant have been identified in Ada County. None have been identified in the other three counties under CDH’s jurisdiction.
Scott Milner said the most promising thing is that the majority of people getting sick with the delta variant are not vaccinated, which means the vaccine is our best defense.
In addition to the mobile vaccine clinics, there are many locations still offering the COVID-19 vaccine. St. Luke's accepts walk-ins at all locations. You can find locations and hours of operation by clicking here.
Saint Alphonsus also accepts walk-ins at Gordman's located at 2260 N. Eagle Rd. in Meridian, ID. Their hours are:
- Tuesday: 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Thursday: 7:00 am to 12:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm