Vaccinations starting at Idaho long-term care facilities

Posted at 3:27 PM, Dec 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 10:17:17-05

BOISE, Idaho — Vaccinations for about 10,200 residents and staff at 75 Idaho long-term care facilities will begin Monday, officials say.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr tells the Idaho Press that most of Idaho’s 315 long-term care facilities will receive the vaccine from CVS Health Care and Walgreens through the Pharmacy Partnership organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 1,350 Idaho residents have died due to COVID-19, and more than 500 of the deaths have been at long-term care facilities. Experts say older adults tend to be more susceptible to death and severe illness from the coronavirus. About 135,000 Idaho residents have been infected.

Zendi Meharry is the director of clinical operations at Cascadia Healthcare, a group that runs several skilled nursing facilities in Idaho.

“What we have been hearing from residents is, ‘We just want our life back, we want our families to visit, to play cards with our friends,’” Meharry said.

Residents and workers at long-term care facilities are in the first group scheduled to get vaccines. That group also includes front-line healthcare workers. About 130,000 people are in that group.