POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The tide may be starting to turn in the battle against COVID-19.
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The vaccine is authorized for individuals 16 and older.
The vaccine is expected to be distributed first to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Southeastern Idaho Public Health Director Maggie Mann says her district will be receiving a portion of the initial doses.
'We are going to be receiving 975 doses initially," Mann said. "That’s for our entire eight county area. So, we're working with our partners in health care to equitably distribute that to the people on the frontlines of the pandemic."
Although the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized, the public may have to stay patient for its widespread use.
"As far as for the general public, that picture isn't really clear yet," Mann said. "We're hoping that maybe by the end of January or first part of February, it will start to be more available, but we just don't have any firm dates yet."
The U.S. estimates to distribute 2.9 million doses in the first week.