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As More Vaccine Becomes Available, Idaho Medical Experts Talk Efficacy And Eligibility

David Zalubowski
AP Photo
Vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine sit in the pharmacy of National Jewish Hospital for distribution early Saturday, March 6, 2021, in east Denver.

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Idaho. One year later, Idahoans are still dying and getting sick from the disease. But as the state opens up vaccine eligibility to more groups and the state's supply of doses increases, there is reason to hope.

[How Has Your Life Changed Since the Pandemic Began?

Idaho Matters speaks with three medical professionals in Idaho about the pros and cons of the state's vaccine eligibility strategy (including a story from a high-risk listener who points out how the state's plan differs from CDC recommendations), and answers your questions.


Our panel today:

  • Dr. David Pate, former CEO of St. Luke's Health System and a current member of the governor's coronavirus task force.
  • Samantha Birch, Infection Prevention Specialist at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center
  • Dr. Michaela Schulte, St. Luke’s Vice President of Medical Affairs for the western Treasure Valley.

And we want to hear from you! How has your life changed in the past year? What lessons have you learned during the pandemic? What are you hopeful for as the vaccine becomes available to more people? Leave us a voicemail and we may share it Monday March 15 as we mark the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19. Call: 208-426-3625.

Gemma is the host of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show which broadcasts live Monday-Friday at noon. She is an award-winning journalist and has spent the majority of her broadcasting career in Idaho. Gemma was a television news anchor and reporter in Boise for close to 15 years. She came to Boise in 1999 to start Fox 12.
Samantha Wright is a news reporter and producer for Idaho Matters.
Troy Oppie reports and hosts local Weekend Edition and various Saturday programming for Boise State Public Radio News. He's also heard Saturday nights on Boise State Public Radio Music's Jazz Conversations.