A new vaccination trailer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help Saint Alphonsus increase vaccine access in rural communities around Idaho.
The health system announced Thursday it received a mobile vaccination unit (MVU) from FEMA to help serve rural communities in Southwest Idaho. Saint Als is currently the only health system selected by the agency to use the vaccine trailer, according to the health system.
“This FEMA trailer will help us to expand our successful mobile vaccination program orchestrated by our Community Health & Well-Being team including our Faith Community Nurses and other clinical volunteers. Saint Alphonsus is committed to addressing health inequities around vaccine access to vulnerable populations and rural communities,” said Odette Bolano, president and CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System, in a news release.
The MVU will be able to serve up to 250 patients in a day with a walk-up clinic, no appointments required, according to Saint Als. The clinic will run six days a week and be open during evening and weekend hours for working individuals and families.
“Our ability to finish our pandemic fight strong depends on the accessibility of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in communities across Idaho. I appreciate Saint Alphonsus and FEMA for making this new resource available in rural Idaho,” Gov. Brad Little said in a statement.
The first clinic is set for Homedale in Owyhee County on April 26 to May 1, located next to the Homedale City Hall. Patients will be given the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and scheduled for a follow-up dose three weeks later. The MVU will be open from 4-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The clinic will then be in Washington County between May 3-8 in Weiser at Memorial Park before moving to a location in Central District Health jurisdiction from May 10-15. Each clinic will be repeated three weeks after the original for the second dose, according to Saint Als.
“This is a great opportunity to dramatically increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine in our rural communities, as well as our most underserved and vulnerable populations,” said Idaho Office of Emergency Management Director Brad Richy in a statement. “I am proud to support this partnership between IOEM, Saint Alphonsus and FEMA. Making the vaccine available to all Idahoans is critically important as Idaho continues on the path towards pandemic recovery.”
For more information on the clinics, patients can call 208-367-4482 or email email@example.com.