21-06-04 St Lukes mobil vaccine clinic 3.jpg

The retrofitted RV travelled to Ketchum on Wednesday afternoon. It will make two more stops in the area on Friday and Saturday.

The St. Luke’s Health System brought its COVID-19 mobile vaccination unit back to the Wood River Valley this week, after an initial visit in May.

The mobile unit—a retrofitted RV—offers free COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone 12 and older. It was stationed at The Hunger Coalition in Bellevue and at The Meadows residential community south of Ketchum on Tuesday and at the Wood River Community YMCA in Ketchum on Wednesday. It was stationed in central Bellevue on Thursday.

The unit will be in Shoshone on Friday, June 4, and at Kiwanis Park in Hailey on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-6 p.m.

Unit staff administered 67 vaccine doses on Tuesday and Wednesday, St. Luke’s reported.

“Every vaccination means that person can return to normal activities, feeling more protected from contracting or transmitting COVID,” said Erin Pfaeffle, director of community engagement for St. Luke’s Wood River.

The mobile unit is set up to provide hundreds of COVID-19 vaccinations each day, with no appointment necessary.

During a previous trip to Kiwanis Park, staffers administered more 120 doses of vaccine, Registered Nurse Kacey Martinez told the Express outside the unit Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re hoping to break that record this weekend,” Martinez said.

The service offers both the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This week, it has been administering second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to people who received their first dose in a previous visit last month. People who were not vaccinated previously could either be inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine—after which they would have to schedule a second dose at another location, such as St. Luke’s in Hailey or at a pharmacy.

St. Luke’s is also deploying the unit to other parts of southern Idaho, with the intention of vaccinating people in rural and underserved communities. Later this month, it will go to Boise, Meridian, McCall, Pocatello and other towns.

In Idaho, anyone 12 and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for youths 12-17. Minors must have parental consent.

For people unable to access the mobile unit, St. Luke’s will make accommodations. Patients with limited mobility are advised to stay in their vehicle and call 208-513-3413 when they arrive at the vaccination location. St. Luke’s staff will go to them and provide directions.

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