Wednesday, May 12, 2021
St. Luke’s Offers Walk-In Vaccinations as Brazil Variant Identified in Elmore County
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St. Luke’s is now accepting walk-ins at its COVID vaccine clinics to keep you out of the emergency room.
   
Friday, April 30, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

GRAPH BY PAUL RIES

St. Luke’s is now welcoming walk-ins at its vaccination clinics. Anyone who needs a vaccine will be able to receive a free vaccination regardless of whether they live here and regardless of whether they have an appointment.

Those wanting a walk-in vaccine at St. Luke’s Wood River should, however, check first as the clinic does not always have doses available.

In addition, St. Luke’s Wood River offers the Moderna vaccine but not the Pfizer vaccine. That means that teens between 16 and 18 cannot get the Pfizer vaccine at the local St. Luke’s facility.

It is, however, available at other clinics like Luke’s Pharmacy, which managed to vaccinate about 60 people on Wednesday.

Teens can also head to Boise for a walk-in vaccine clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at Albertsons’ Boise headquarters on Parkcenter Boulevard. All three vaccines—Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson—will be available and no appointment is needed.

Those who have had one shot should bring their vaccination card with them to receive their second dose.

A second clinic will be held there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 8.

There are plenty of appointments to be had at the Hailey Albertson pharmacy, but you must make an appointment first.

Idaho health officials said provider are worried about wasting doses as they began offering vaccines to walk-ins. But prioritizing individuals who need and want the vaccine is more important at this point than worrying about wasting a dose, said Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch.

BRAZILIAN VARIANT IN IDAHO CONFIRMED

An Elmore County woman has been confirmed to be the first laboratory-confirmed case in Idaho infected with the P.1 strain of COVID-19 known as the Brazil variant. The woman is under the age of 40. She has not reported having traveled recently, and she has not been hospitalized.

The county—the site of Mountain Home Air Force Base—has seen a spike in cases since late March. Only 32 percent of the residents there have received at least one dose of vaccine.

The Brazilian variant was picked up in Boise wastewater in March; consequently, it’s believed some community transmission is occurring.

COVID RISK REMAINS HIGH

The risk for COVID spread in Blaine County remained high this past week with both the average new case rate and positivity rate trending upwards.

The bad news: That means public gatherings are still limited to 50 people. The good news: About 55 percent of Blaine County’s residents are fully vaccinated.

The county averaged 14.9 daily cases per hypothetical 100,000 people between April 18 and 24. That’s up from 11.8 new cases on average the week before.

The positive rate for the week was 5.43 percent, compared with 3.35 percent the week before.

Seven 40- to 49-year-olds tested positive; five 18-29-yer-olds and four 5- to 10-year-olds. Three 50- to 59-year-olds tested positive; two 30- to 39-year-olds, one person 70 and older, one person between 14 and 17 and 1 person 4 or under tested positive.

There were zero new cases among those between the ages of 60 and 69 and 11 and 13.

VACCINE PROVIDERS OFFERED INCENTIVES TO TAKE SHOTS TO THE PEOPLE

With Blaine County leading the state in vaccinations, St. Luke’s will be taking a mobile vaccination clinic to four Wood River Valley sites the week of May 10.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Welfare is offering $9 million on a first-come first-served basis to enrolled COVID-19 vaccine providers to take mobile, pop-up, door-to-door and other types of vaccination clinics to underserved populations.

Modalities could include clinics joined with job fairs and clinics held in schools, shopping centers, churches and even salons.

Applications are available at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Application-for-Mobile-Offsite-Special-COVID-19-Vaccination-Clinics-FINAL.pdf

It’s critical, for instance, to make it as easy as possible for Idahoans 16 and older to choose to get vaccinated. This grant funding is an effort to provide vaccination opportunities to people where they work, play, and live their lives,” said Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch.

CRUISES FOR THE VACCINATED 

The Centers for Disease Control has said U.S. cruises might be able to start up again in mid-July with 98 percent of crew and 95 percent of passengers fully vaccinated.

However, if you had planned on Burning Man this year, think again. It’s been cancelled for the second year in a row. Organizers said the world has been through collective trauma and humanity needs to process it before coming together in a big way.

CITY OF BOISE LIFTS OUTDOOR MASK MANDATE

The City of Boise has lifted its outdoor mask mandate but is still requiring that masks be worn inside public spaces for the next 30 days.

“We’re nearing the end of this, as more and more people get vaccinated,” said Mayor Lauren McLean.

MORE UNIVERSITIES REQUIRE VACCINATIONS FOR STUDENTS

The University of California and California State University—two of the largest university systems in the United States—will require COVID-19 vaccinations for its 1 million students, faculty and staff this fall. Students and employees will be allowed to request exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

ANOTHER REASON TO GET A VACCINE

A new study shows another reason to protect yourself from getting COVID: The Washington University study shows that patients who had even a mild case of COVID had a 60 percent higher risk of death within six months after getting sick than those who never had COVID. They also had a 20 percent greater chance of needing more medical care and medication.

Also, pregnant women who get COVID-19 have a significantly higher risk of poor outcomes and death compared to pregnant women without COVID, according to a study by researchers from the University of Oxford. The risk of maternal mortality was 22 percent higher.

 

 

 


 

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