BOISE, Idaho — Data from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recorded in mid-April show a vast majority of Idaho zip codes were below a 40% rate of being fully or partially vaccinated.
As of this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34% of the state's population has been fully or partially vaccinated.
But, that number is based on the total population of the state.
According to the U.S. Census, nearly 25% of Idahoans are under 18 years of age. The vaccination rate is actually around 46% of those eligible.
That is an important distinction as vaccine allocations are based on population, and in a fast-growing state like Idaho, that can skew the state's response.
In Boise, five zip codes were over the 40% mark. Four of those had a vaccination rate of 50% or more.
More than 57% of residents in zip code 83702 in Boise's North End are vaccinated and represent the highest rate.
In Meridian, only one zip code had passed the 40% mark. In Nampa, all zip codes were below 40%.
The data also showed that only a little over 18% of the 83605 zip code in Caldwell had been vaccinated. According to recent U.S. Census data, 88% of this area identify as Latin-X.
"With any new medication or vaccine, it's not uncommon for people to be hesitant, particularly those who might be persons of color, where there historically has been issues, if you will, with other kinds of medical therapies," said Dr. Amy Khan, an Executive Medical Director with Regence BlueShield Idaho. "But, what's important is roughly two out of five people are, you know, hesitant to get the vaccine because they're worried that maybe it's not safe."
"There's about 13% of Idahoans who are Hispanic. However, they represent about 19% of our COVID cases," Dr. Khan said. "As of now, really only about 7% of the Latino population has been immunized. So it's an important message to get out to the Latino community making sure that we have a leader in the community, Spanish-speaking colleagues, friends, family members, others who are sharing information about the availability of the vaccine to assuring individuals understand that it is safe, meaning that has been tested through clinical trials, and there's been ongoing monitoring to assure safety that's effective."
President Joe Biden set a new goal this week of getting 70% of Americans vaccinated with at least one shot, and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4. Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Adviser, stressed the importance of meeting that goal locally.
"If you are in a particular community or town or city or what have you and you have the 70% vaccination that the President is aiming for with a single dose in adults and you will see guaranteed the level of infection go very low. You can start looking at things that you were restricted from doing, that gradually you will see the CDC lifting restrictions," said Fauci.
Just like any health concern or question, Dr. Khan says it's important to have an open honest conversation with your doctor.
"Certainly, we know that there may be certain health conditions that you want to clarify with your doctor about whether or not this is the right vaccine for you, whether or not it's the right time for you," Dr. Khan said. "But, if you have questions, talk to your doctor, talk to your family, really want encourage people to become aware and understand what their choices are, and the important value that these vaccines bring in our fight against COVID-19."
The Biden Administration rolled out a vaccine service that allows you to find the nearest place with doses available and information to set up an appointment. You can text your zip code to 438829.
Para recibir información en español sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19 puede mandar un texto de US código postal a 822862.