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Health district reveals local vaccine plan

| January 29, 2021 9:20 AM

The panhandle area next week will begin scheduling appointments and vaccinating individuals who are 65 years of age and older.

Among the counties that the Panhandle Health District (PHD) serves, including, Kootenai, Bonner, Benewah, Boundary, and Shoshone, 11,588 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered thus far to those who are in the first phases of Idaho’s vaccine rollout, including medical and healthcare workers, K-12 school employees, childcare workers, first responders, and correctional and detention facility staff.

“We know the 65 and older population have been eager to receive the vaccine,” said Don Duffy, Health Services Administrator at PHD. “We also know that this is a large portion of our population and it will take time and effort to administer vaccines to everyone who would like to receive it. We are grateful to have our partners assisting us in this effort.”

The health district will receive 2,800 doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week and that will increase to 3,800 next week and the weeks thereafter. Doses will be evenly distributed to each county based on population.

Information on where to find vaccine clinics in each county can be found here. Registration will begin in February. These are not walk-in clinics, all vaccines are given by appointment only. The enrolled vaccine providers do ask that the public register in the county that they reside and only register an individual at one vaccine clinic. Registrations at multiple sites or on multiple days may be cancelled.

Kootenai Health is among those assisting Panhandle Health District in community vaccination efforts. Within minutes of sending out a press release Friday morning, Kootenai Health had already booked all its appointments for the coming week.

Each week Kootenai Health will release approximately 1,000 appointments to Kootenai County residents 65 and over (depending on supply).

If you are 65 or older, a Kootenai County resident, and would like to schedule a vaccination appointment at Kootenai Health, visit kh.org/covid-19/vaccine and click the link to register.

Kootenai Health appointments will be released every Wednesday at 4 p.m. to ensure quantity. If you register for a vaccine appointment:

·Be sure to confirm your age and your residency in Kootenai County

·When you arrive for your vaccination appointment, bring your driver’s license or another form of ID to verify your age and residence.

Across the Panhandle Health District, the vaccine clinics are available to those who are in the Phase 1a and the top priority groups in the Phase 1b categories of the vaccine distribution plan.

Phase 1a includes:

• Hospital staff essential for care of COVID-19 patients

• Long-term care facility residents and staff (vaccine administration provided through the Pharmacy Partnership Program)

• Outpatient & Inpatient clinic/medical staff who are unable to telework

• Home healthcare providers

• Emergency Medical Services

• Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants

• Pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and pharmacy aides

• Emergency management response workers

• Coroners

• First Responders

• School Nurses

Those eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1b include:

• Pre-K-12 School Employees

• Childcare Workers

• Correctional & Detention Facility Staff

• Adults age 65 and older (beginning February)

If you have questions about COVID-19 in our area, call PHD’s COVID-19 hotline Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm, 877-415-5225.