Sunday, March 7, 2021
South Central Public Health District Starts Vaccine Waitlist for Seniors
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Some seniors probably feel as if Christmas has arrived with Idahoans 65 and older finally becoming eligible for vaccines on Monday.
   
Thursday, January 28, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

The South Central Public Health District and healthcare providers in the Magic Valley are now taking the names of those 65 and older for a COVID vaccine waitlist.

That group becomes eligible for the vaccine on Monday, Feb. 1.

 
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Idaho continues to do better with just 620 new cases of coronavirus reported on Wednesday after 559 new cases on Tuesday for a total of 161,212. But 33 more Idahoans have died of COVID in the past two days for a total of 1,714.
 

St. Luke’s has yet to open appointments for those 65 and older.

The district has elected to reserve the first several Monday vaccine clinics for those over 75. This group historically has the highest death rate from COVID-19 so that will ensure “senior seniors” have an opportunity to be vaccinated.

Those 75 and older have so far constituted 69 percent of the deaths from COVID within the SCPHD’s jurisdiction, which includes Blaine and Twin Falls counties. Those between 60 and 74 have comprised 22.37 percent.

Those between 50 and 59 account for 4.82 percent of the COVID deaths; 40 and 49, 2.63 percent, and those between 18 and 39, 1.32 percent.

 
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Forty-two more cases have been diagnosed in Blaine County for a total of 1,908. The 31 new cases on Wednesday constituted the county’s worst day since Nov. 18, says Paul Ries.
 

SCPHD Director Melody Bowyer said the health district is eager to give seniors another tool in addition to wearing face masks and social distancing to stay healthy during the pandemic.

“This group includes many of our residents at highest risk for severe cases of COVID-19,” she added.

Vaccinating the priority group will take weeks as there are 269,000 Idahoans 65 and older and the state gets just under 21,000 doses a week. But the state’s health officials hope to see that allocation increased in coming weeks. And the emergency authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would presumably increase the number of doses the state is given, as well.

The health district will only schedule appointments a week in advance to ensure a dose is available for each appointment.

“Much of our resources are still going to clinics, finishing up the first doses and starting the second doses for people in Group 1 and Subgroup 2.1,” said Brianna Bodily, public information officer for SCPHD. “Unless we start receiving more vaccine, we won't be able to do more than a few hundred vaccines a week in total.”

 Those who are 65 and older may sign up on the waitlist at https://forms.gle/dbHGwko3PgKaXCxo7.  SCPHD staff members will use that list to call and fill available vaccine appointments in the coming week.

Other enrolled vaccine providers in the Magic Valley are Asthma and Allergy of Idaho and Nevada in Twin Falls, Buhl Drug, Dick’s Pharmacy in Twin Falls, Family Health Services in Burley, Family Health Services in Jerome, Family Health Services in Kimberly and Family Health Services in Rupert.

Those seeking vaccinations are asked to honor appointments. The vaccine has to be prepared in advance so failing to show places that dose at risk and takes away another person’s chance to be vaccinated.

Those who do not qualify for a vaccine yet may sign up for an email update alerting them when the vaccine is available with information about how to sign up. Sign up at https://www.cognitoforms.com/SouthCentralPublicHealthDistrict/COVID19VaccineUpdateForm

So far, 85,731 Idahoans have received at least one dose; 16,843 have received both. In Blaine County, 1,760 first doses have been administered; 106 valley residents have received both doses.

 


 

 

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