Sunday, March 7, 2021
Playing the Vaccine Lottery
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Judy Wampler was amply covered against anything that might come her way between her face mask and her cute little snowman’s hat as she watched the Ice Carving competition on Saturday in Hailey.
   
Sunday, February 7, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

Idaho expects to get between 3,000 and 5,000 additional doses of Moderna vaccine by Thursday, Feb. 11, as the federal government allocates 1 million doses of the vaccine to pharmacies.

That’s on top of the 25,000 doses it expects to receive this week to distribute to hospitals and health clinics.

 
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Idaho reported just 240 new cases of COVID on Saturday, although not all health districts reported. The state has had 165,209 confirmed and probable cases since March. Eighteen more Idahoans have died of COVID for a total of 1,767. Blaine County reported four new cases for a total of 2,034.
 

Idaho has chosen Albertsons and Walmart to distribute the doses designated for pharmacies.

Walmart will begin offering the vaccine in some of its stores in Idaho beginning Feb. 11. Once a store receives allocation, appointments may be made via an online scheduler.

A spokesman for Albertsons said she didn’t know when the Albertsons in Hailey might begin offering vaccines.

Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are beginning to offer vaccines in some of their pharmacies, targeting areas that have poor access to vaccines. They are not offering vaccines at pharmacies in Idaho yet.

THIS LOTTERY COULD MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH

Eastern Idaho Public Health has started a lottery system to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. It will use a computer-generated randomizer to assign available vaccination appointments for those on a waiting list.  Officials will then call or text registered individuals the information about their appointment.

About 30,000 people in that eight-county district qualify under the most recent stage of the vaccine rollout, and the health district gets just 2,500 doses a week.

Spouses of those who register and are 65 or older will be given the ability to schedule an appointment at the same time.

JUMPING LINE

In the months since the vaccination was first administered, people have bribed doctors, chartered planes to other states and impersonated essential workers, according to an article in USA Today. The worst, perhaps, was that of a Las Vegas casino executive and his actress wife who flew to a remote community in Canada and posed as motel employees to receive vaccinations meant for vulnerable members of the White River First Nation.

Florida is combatting vaccine tourism by limiting shots to residents only or those who can prove they’re seasonal residents. Those getting vaccinations must now provide proof of residency; before, they only needed to prove they were 65 or older.

A Texas doctor has been charged with stealing a vial of COVID vaccine that contained nine doses for his friends and family. He faces a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail for the misdemeanor.

TEENS STEP UP

Two Boise teens are among 3,000 teens participating in Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial to see what the vaccine’s effect is on youth younger than 18.

The two are 12 and 14 years old and they volunteered to take part because they were tired of having to put their lives on hold during the pandemic. They hope that their participation in the trial can speed up the process of getting back to normalcy, their mother told KTVB.

The two got their first shot—either a placebo or the real deal—on Jan. 22. Then it’s 13 months of logging symptoms, taking phone calls and blood draws.

SAY A PRAYER AND TAKE A VACCINE

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has urged its members to get a COVID vaccine when it’s their turn.

BEWARE OF VACCINE SCAMS

South Central Public Health District warns that some people have received robocalls that claim to be from the district. The calls ask personal information, such as social security numbers and credit card numbers, to set up an appointment.

The district uses live people to set up appointments and, while they ask for date of birth and insurance information, they do not ask the former, says Brianna Bodily, public information officer for the health district.

MIDNIGHT VACCINATIONS

Seattle hospitals vaccinated 800 people in the middle of the night last week after a freezer containing vaccine failed. Hospital officials put out emergency calls on social media and not a single dose went to waste.

IF YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE SCHEDULING A VACCINE APPOINTMENT, CONSIDER THIS:

An Indian travel agency is offering four-day trips from Mumbai to New York City with a COVID vaccine thrown in for $2,000.

SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS GO FROM CUTE TO ALTRUISTIC

If you like those commercials featuring big Budweiser draft horses and endearing puppies, you’ll have to wait a year. Budweiser will not run a commercial during the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years, choosing instead to use its marketing dollars to support COVID-19 vaccine access and awareness. It’s running an ad leading up to the Super Bowl that will focus on the health-care workers who were first to receive the vaccine.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola also are not running in-game ad during the game even though a 30-second commercial will cost just $5.5 million this year versus the $5.6 million it cost last year.

VACCINE SHUTTLES

Amazon is now offering its operational expertise to shuttle vaccines across the country. Of course, it may not be completely altruistic; it may be part of the company’s bid to expand into the $3.8 trillion health care marketplace, according to Politico.

TRAVELING IN THE ERA OF COVID

A vaccine passport will get you into Romania, Cyprus and the Seychelles. They are among the destinations that have lifted quarantine requirements for those who can prove they’ve been vaccinated.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization has called for a global adoption of vaccination passports as part of measures essential to get the world in motion again. Already, Australia’s Qantas airlines and the UK’s Saga Cruises are insisting that only vaccinated passengers will be allowed to make international trips.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL

A California man who claimed to be too afraid to fly due to COVID-19 hid out in O’Hare International Airport for three months surviving on the food that passengers gave him, according to the Chicago Tribune. Police have arrested him.

Be prepared for a $250 fine if you refuse to wear a mask while traveling by air, bus, rail or other public transportation now, in compliance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. Repeat offenses could get you a $1,500 fine.

IDAHO COVID-19 VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MAKES NEW RECOMMENDATIONS

  • CVAC reversed a previous vote that placed adult family members who provide in-home personal care in Group 1.2, which is currently eligible for vaccine. With Friday’s vote, that population has been removed from Group 1.2 and will be re-considered at a later date.
  • CVAC voted to include a subset of essential gas, electric, and water utility workers who work indoors in Group 2.3, which is expected to be eligible for the vaccine later this month.
  • CVAC voted to have interpreters (ASL or other language) vaccinated with the sector and setting in which they work.
  • CVAC voted against having construction workers vaccinated with the sector for which they are doing the construction.
  • CVAC voted against placing licensed massage therapists with physical therapists in Group 1.4, which is eligible for vaccine right now.
  • CVAC voted against including certified Pilates instructors with physical therapists in Group 1.4.
  • CVAC voted against including immigration legal services in Group 2.1, which is eligible for the vaccine right now.

The recommendations go to the governor who will accept or reject them.


 

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