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Gov. Little noted that even with increased efforts, it could still take months to vaccinate every senior citizen in Idaho.

Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order Thursday aimed at speeding up the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho, requiring public health districts and health care providers to submit more detailed reporting on vaccine administration.

Under Little’s Transparency in the Administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine order, public health districts and providers must regularly report the number of vaccine doses they have received, how many shots they have administered and how many doses they have in inventory.

The goal is to ensure that vaccine doses are administered within seven days of arriving in Idaho, Little said in a press conference announcing the order Thursday.

If it appears that providers are not administering the vaccines quickly enough, the state “will step in to ensure we speed things up,” Little said, though neither the governor nor his executive order expanded on how exactly the state would do that.

Idaho has seen a slight increase in the number of doses it receives per week, Little said in the press conference, from 21,000 first doses per week to 24,000. The governor said he was told in a call with federal officials two days ago that Idaho can expect to receive 24,000 per week for the next two weeks.

“I want to be clear—there is still a big gap between supply and demand at this point,” Little said, noting that about 265,000 Idahoans age 65 or older will be eligible for vaccination on Feb. 1. At the current rate, Little said, vaccinating all senior Idahoans could take more than two months.

The next eligible group—which includes homeless shelter residents, food and agriculture workers, Idaho National Guard members, and manufacturing, public transit and U.S. Postal Service workers—is supposed to start receiving the vaccine in late February or early March, according to the state’s vaccine distribution timeline.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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