BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke's Health System announced Monday it will start giving the COVID-19 vaccine this week to community members in the next high-risk group. People who fall under the state's "Group 1A" classification include high-risk health care workers, emergency responders and specific essential workers.
The state has divided the community into groups based on the risk of routine exposure and criteria for increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
If you fall under one of the above categories, you can schedule your appointment starting at noon on January 11. According to St. Luke's, the first appointments are opening throughout the week and depend on the location.
Only people who fall within Group 1A should schedule appointments.
To verify group placement, people will be required to provide proof of employment at their appointment. Examples include a badge, pay stub or W2 form. St. Luke's says the vaccine people will not get the vaccine if they do not have proper proof of their job.
St. Luke's patients can schedule appointments online using myChart for quickest access. People who have never used St. Luke's services can set up a myChart account by calling 208-381-9000. Those who cannot use myChart because they do not speak English, have a disability that prevents them from doing so, or they don't have the necessary technology may call St. Luke's Connect at 208-381-9500 to set up an appointment.
St. Luke's will open the same number of appointments as it has in vaccine doses. People are encouraged to check back if they do not immediately get an appointment. The news release from St. Luke's says they will open three more vaccine clinics in McCall, Wood River and Twin Falls to serve rural communities' needs.
19/ Patients interested in learning more about #COVID19vaccine should NOT call a @Stlukeshealth clinic or provider. Instead, stay informed by:— Anita Kissée (@StLukesAnita) January 11, 2021
•Finding the latest information at St. Luke’s #COVID19 Resources page - https://t.co/12oN6PIL59
The health system cannot set a specific timeline for when other groups will open for scheduling. St. Luke's is working to balance community demand with vaccine supply, according to the release.
St. Luke's reminds people that many health care organizations in Idaho are working on expanding access to the vaccine at the direction of the state and local health districts. People are encouraged to seek out appointment information from other sources, as well.
St. Luke's serves three health districts, Southwest District Health, Central District Health and South Central District Health. St. Luke's employees and providers will still receive the vaccine as community groups are also getting the vaccine.
"We understand people want this process to go quickly. Vaccines are being administered safely and successfully in Idaho," said St. Luke's in the release. "Organizations will get faster and more efficient as we move forward and gain experience with these new vaccines. We want to make sure we continue to do it safely and correctly. Now is not the time to rush through the process, but to be deliberate and develop a sustainable cadence of vaccination."
So far in Idaho, 31,487 people have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 27,152 people have received only one dose and 4,335 have received both doses.