Idaho health director anticipates COVID-19 vaccine appointments could be scheduled more than a week out

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare clarifies COVID-19 vaccine rollout and protocols during briefing
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 5:49 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — As severe winter weather continues in Texas, thousands of vaccines were in jeopardy due to power outages. During a briefing with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on Tuesday, KMVT learned unless providers have a back-up generator to keep the vials refrigerated, vaccines could potentially be lost. Officials did say there are protocols in place to make sure vaccine loss is minimal, including requiring providers to use temperature monitors.

When it comes to vaccine rollout, officials said they are hopeful pharmacies will soon begin to schedule vaccinations further than one week in advance.

“We’ve only been able to get a week’s worth of vaccine, which means providers can only schedule one week at a time. This causes people to have to come back to the websites over and over to see if they have an appointment,” said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen. “Moving forward, the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership will give us three weeks’ worth of information, which should allow them to schedule three weeks’ worth of appointments.”

Officials say progress has been made with the Department of Health and Welfare estimating more than one-third of those ages 65 and older have been vaccinated from the coronavirus.

The department also wanted residents to be clear that if they are unable to schedule their second dose within the suggested 28 day interval, they still have time. According to trial runs, the second dose can be taken up to 42 days after the first.

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