Tuesday, June 22, 2021
St. Luke’s Offers Pfizer Vaccines in Hailey as Blaine County COVID Risk Increases Slightly
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Dr. Julie Lyons, who compared the COVID vaccine effort to the heroic actions of Rosie the Riviter, hopes that offering Pfizer vaccines at St. Luke’s Hailey clinic will prove convenient for parents and their children. PHOTO: Joy Prudek
   
Friday, May 21, 2021
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

St. Luke’s Wood River will begin offering Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines at its Family Medicine Clinic in Hailey beginning Monday, May 24.

The vaccine has been granted Emergency Use Authorization for those ages 12 and up by the Food and Drug Administration.

St. Luke’s Wood River is beginning to offer its vaccinations through its primary care providers at the Hailey Clinic, rather than holding large-scale clinics at the Physician Office Annex next to the hospital. Patients can schedule an appointment online via myChart or by calling St. Luke’s Connect at 208-381-9500. They also may opt to receive the vaccine during a regularly scheduled doctor’s visit for any other reason.

 
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Idaho reported 188 new cases on Thursday. The state has lost seven more citizens to COVID in the past two days, bringing its death toll to 2,080. Blaine County reported no new cases in the past two days, its tally remaining at 2,380. Just in the past seven days Blaine County’s seven-day moving average has dipped to 0.3—the best it’s been since Sept. 9, said Paul Ries.
 

“We are pleased to be able to offer this convenient option for getting vaccinated. If you are visiting your provider for a wellness exam, a sports physical or for a minor injury, you can choose to get vaccinated during the same visit,” said Dr. Julie Lyons, St. Luke’s Wood River Family Medicine physician. “Busy parents of children 12 and up may find this particularly convenient to be able to address multiple needs at one place and in one visit.”

Until now St. Luke’s Wood River has administered the Moderna vaccine because of the extreme cold refrigeration needed for the Pfizer vaccine.

The FDA just released new guidelines saying that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can safely be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for up to a month. It was previously believed that the vaccine could be stored for only five days.

St. Luke’s Senior Director of Pharmacy Scott Milner said that the hospital system now has more than six months’ worth of data and experience regarding how to ship the Pfizer vaccine in temperature-controlled coolers at fridge temperatures or frozen temperatures.

“We are currently planning on shipping at frozen temperatures, but not the Ultra Low temps. This will give us 14 days before shifting to fridge temps,” he said. “The equipment we use has been registered with the state and we have had to demonstrate our temperature monitoring programs.

“Long term we will likely install an Ultra Low freezer in the Blaine County area to simplify and ensure consistent supply in the months/years to come,” he added.

The Family Medicine Clinic is located near Friedman Memorial Airport at 1450 Aviation Drive. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

To date 77 percent of eligible Blaine County residents have been vaccinated.

Blaine County remains in the moderate category when it comes to the risk for transmission of COVID, with its average new case rate increasing slightly this week.

The county recorded 5.6 average new cases per 100,000 hypothetical residents between May 9-15. That’s up from 3.7 new cases the week before.

The test positivity rate was 0 percent, down from 0.37 percent.

There were 4 new cases among those ages 30-39, 2 between 18-29 and 1 each in the 50-59, 40-49 and 14-17 age ranges. There were no new cases among those 60 and older and those 13 and younger.

The cities of Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey dropped indoor mask requirements this past week in response to the latest guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control. The City of Bellevue will consider the issue Monday night, according to Mayor Ned Burns.

And Blaine County Commissioners will likely make a decision on whether to revise their current mask mandate at their regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, May 25, according to County Administer Mandy Pomeroy.

 

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