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Little Says Idaho Frontline Workers Unlikely To Get Vaccine Before Mid-January

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Darin Oswald
/
Idaho Statesman
Gov. Brad Little said frontline Idaho health care workers are unlikel to get a COVID-19 vaccine before mid-January during a call-in session organized by AARP. He also resisted renewed calls for a statewide mask mandate.

Despite a promising COVID-19 trial, Governor Brad Little said during his weekly AARP town hall that frontline workers in Idaho likely won’t get vaccines until mid-January. 

He said the Pfizer trial that initially found its vaccine to be 90% effective is encouraging, but no reason for complacency. The governor urged people to wear masks and limit gatherings.

“So we have to continue our behavior modification and those minor sacrifices,” he said.

Hospitals around Idaho are sounding the alarm about getting close to capacity with COVID-19 patients. Health officials are pressuring Little for a statewide mask mandate and that push intensified when Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a fellow Republican, announced a mask mandate Sunday.

One caller challenged Little to follow suit. 

“The governor of Utah has stepped out and gotten a little firmer. I'm just wondering, why can't you, Governor, just go a little step farther and make the mask mandate?” the caller said.

But Little is still hinging his COVID-19 response on local control and personal responsibility. So far, neither has worked. Idaho continues to set records for new daily COVID-19 infections and has topped 1,100 new confirmed and probable cases seven out of the past eight days.

Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter, @HDruzin

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