20-01-27 COVID Vaccine_KOTH@

Physical therapist John Koth, of Koth Sports, gives a thumbs-up while getting his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at St. Luke’s Wood River earlier this yera. “I got vaccinated to protect everyone else and my family, and to protect me,” he said.

The number of Idahoans fully inoculated against COVID-19 has now surpassed the number of confirmed and probable cases in the state for the first time, according to statistics released by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Wednesday evening.

As of March 10, 174,246 state residents have tested positive for the virus since the first case was confirmed about a year ago. That equates to roughly 9.75% of the state’s population, including children, based on estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Since the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered in December, a total of 175,439 Idahoans have been fully inoculated (roughly 9.82% of the state’s population). That number reflects citizens who have received both doses of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or have been administered the recently approved single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A further 119,769 residents have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, and await their second shot.

Blaine County’s vaccination efforts are continuing at pace as well, with 4,133 locals fully vaccinated (almost 18% of the county's population). A further 2,362 Blaine residents are partly vaccinated and require a second dose. (To date, Blaine County has recorded 2,199 confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus.)

Still, demand for vaccines far outweighs supply. Idaho is currently receiving about 40,000 doses a week of Pfizer and Moderna, and last week received the first 13,000-dose shipment of Johnson & Johnson.

Presently, the following groups are eligible to receive vaccines in Idaho: people aged 65 and over; all of priority Group 1 (health-care workers and residents of long-term care facilities); Subgroup 2.1 (first responders, pre-K through grade 12 teachers and school staff, daycare workers, and correctional and detention facility staff); and, in the Central District Health region, Subgroup 2.3 (homeless shelter residents, food and agriculture workers, Idaho National Guard members, manufacturing workers, public transit workers, flight crews, interpreters and U.S. Postal Service workers). Subgroup 2.3 and Subgroup 3.1 (people 55 and older with qualifying health conditions) will qualify statewide March 15.

Both St. Luke’s Health System and the state of Idaho recently launched online vaccine registries, enabling patients to sign up in advance to be notified when vaccine appointments become available to them. St. Luke’s patients can sign up via the myChart system. Idaho residents can sign up for the state’s system at covidvaccine.idaho.gov.

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