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Idaho close to seeing more people vaccinated than total COVID-19 cases

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials said we're getting closer to having more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered than the total number of COVID-19 cases.

The health department reported on Tuesday more than 189,042 doses have been administered compared to the reported 165,648 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Brad Little said he was amazed at the latest data on active cases.

"This morning we looked at our case count, and this is an amazing number, 88 percent of our counties have a case count of under 25 on a rolling average, which is just a little amazing compared to where we were," he said.

As of Sunday, there were 407 COVID-19 vaccine providers enrolled across the state with 46 more providers in process of joining.

As of Monday, 71% of the doses received in the state have been administered. Out of that, 91% of first doses have been administered, which means there is less than one week of inventory in the state, Dave Jeppesen, Idaho Health and Welfare director said.

"So the providers are doing a great job of getting those first doses out within 7 days which is our goal," Jeppesen said.

He said the second doses arrive about a week ahead of when they're scheduled to be given. As of Tuesday, 41% of the second doses have been administered.

Jeppesen said according to the data, a majority of the people are getting their second dose on time, which means the second doses are occurring at the rate expected at this point.

Jeppesen said they have reallocated some 6,825 first doses and the same amount of second doses from Walgreens back to the state.

62,500 people aged 65 and older have received their first dose of vaccine or approximately 21 percent of those in that age group, Jeppesen said. There is roughly 291,000 people aged 65 and over.

Jeppesen said they are receiving about 25,000 first doses a week. He asking people to be patient as it will take several months to get through this age group.

Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch said a new program from the federal government begins this week. It's called the federal retail pharmacy program which allows large retail pharmacies to administer vaccines directly from the federal government.

Approximately 5,000 doses have been allocated to Idaho and are scheduled to arrive on Thursday. The vaccine goes directly to the pharmacy from the manufacturer.

She said the state had to choose two chain pharmacies to begin with. The state chose Albertson's and Walmart for those vaccines. But, she said, as more doses are available more pharmacies will be allowed to participate,

The program is different from the Federal Pharmacy Program which administered vaccines to long-term care facilities.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus Coverage

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Curtis Jackson


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