In the early stages of the vaccine roll out, Idaho ranked near the bottom of the list nationally for vaccines administered. Now, it sits in the No. 5 position.
Vaccine doses are being administered quickly across the state. According to the Department of Health and Welfare, 93.3% of doses distributed to the state have been administered, making Idaho 5th in the U.S. for doses administered.
Of the almost 270,000 people ages 65 and older, 39% of this population size has received at least one dose so far according to IDHW.
Through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Idaho will be getting more doses. The program added a new chain, which includes 30 smaller pharmacies operating in 17 counties across Idaho, now making 42 pharmacies statewide apart of the program.
Idaho will now be allocated more doses than before between the state’s normal allotment and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
“We can see that the state currently shows that about 75% doses that this Federal Retail Pharmacy Program received have been administered. So, with the addition of this retail pharmacy program we are now receiving just a little over 40,000 doses into the state each week,” IDHW Administrator of Public Health, Elke Shaw-Tulloch said.
Idaho did see a slight slowdown in the vaccines given to the state due to winter storms across the country, but according to IDHW, all of those doses will be arriving in the state this week in addition to the regular number of doses the state receives in a week.
Although Idaho is receiving more doses, there still is not enough to get everyone who is eligible vaccinated right away, but a new pre-registration system will be rolling out to help alleviate some of the confusion when making appointments.
IDHW says it recognizes the frustration people are having with the appointment-making process so it is creating one single spot where people can go, fill out their information, such as age and health conditions, then be notified when they are eligible instead of constantly calling and checking in with providers.
“It really is meant to just be a place where citizens can go and say ‘I’m interested in getting vaccinated,’ and then when it’s their turn and when a provider has an appointment, that provider can reach out and schedule them for an appointment,” IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen said.
The pre-registration system is expected to roll out in early March.