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COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee sends vaccine recommendations to Gov. Little

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BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) will send recommendations for several additional clarifications to Group 2 and the results of a preliminary vote on the approach the committee would use to prioritize Group 3 to Gov. Brad Little after its regular meeting Friday.

The votes are recommendations that are subject to approval, rejection, or modification by Gov. Little.

The committee’s recommendations for clarifications to Group 2 are:

  • CVAC voted against including instructors for CPR, AED, and basic life support in Group 2.1.
  • CVAC voted against including Red Cross Emergency Operations Center workers in Group 2.1.
  • CVAC voted to recommend Social Security administration staff who are unable to telework and are serving vulnerable populations be included in Group 2.1.
  • CVAC voted against including plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in Group 2.3.
  • CVAC voted to clarify that janitorial and cleaning staff should be included in the sector in which they work.

Also, between this meeting and the previous one, CVAC made the following recommendations:

  • CVAC voted against including faculty and staff who provide face-to-face services at postsecondary settings as well as public library workers in Group 2.1.
  • CVAC voted against including Bureau of Reclamation dam workers, “on-site” apartment staff, Airbnb hosts, hotel workers, and media covering the legislative session in person and other “frontline” reporters in Group 2.3.
  • CVAC voted to include flight crews in Group 2.3.

Also on Friday, CVAC had a discussion about an approach for prioritizing Group 3.  They considered the population groups identified by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Phase 3, which includes people ages 16-64 years old with health conditions that make them high risk for COVID-19 and other essential workers not already covered in Idaho’s Group 2. CVAC took a preliminary vote to assist with identifying the next steps for setting direction for prioritizing Group 3. CVAC agreed that an approach to using age groups to assist with prioritization is preferred. 

The vote is preliminary and the committee may settle on a different recommendation for how to prioritize Group 3 in the future.

“Given the spirit of the conversation that we had today it’s very clear that more time is needed to be really thoughtful about our next steps and be strategic,” said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, CVAC’s executive secretary and administrator of the Division of Public Health. “But this vote did give us a good flavor of what (CVAC members) are all thinking about.”

CVAC’s next meetings are scheduled for March 5 and March 19.

The Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee was formed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare at the direction of Gov. Brad Little in October and its members represent stakeholders from across Idaho, including the tribes, priority populations, healthcare systems and providers, and immunization organizations.

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