Some frontline workers in Idaho will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine earlier than expected.
Based on the state’s new timeline, firefighters, police officers, pre-K through 12th grade school staff, daycare workers and correctional facility staff are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
Idaho planned for them to start receiving the vaccine in February, but on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Brad Little announced they could receive it sooner.
The decision comes as officials from the outgoing Trump administration announced they would no longer hold onto second doses of the vaccine, instead releasing all available doses to states when they become available. This strategy aligns with plans shared by President-elect Joe Biden, and will mean Idaho’s weekly allotment of vaccine doses is likely to increase.
Starting in February, people 65 and older will be able to get the vaccine, as will other essential workers like those in food and agriculture and the Idaho National Guard. By that time, the governor estimates that 500,000 more Idahoans will have access to the vaccine.
Healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff in Idaho are still in the process of receiving the vaccine.
On Tuesday, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 38,891 vaccine doses had been given and more than 5,600 people had received both doses.
By the end of the week, Idaho is supposed to have received 155,175 total doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
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