By Lyndsie Kiebert
Idaho launched a new website for people hoping to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, in an effort to offer a one-stop-shop to connect patients with those providing the shots.
The site essentially functions as a single, master waiting list for people who desire a vaccine, regardless of whether they currently fall under prioritized vaccination groups. People who sign up will be contacted by an enrolled provider in their area when they are eligible and a vaccine appointment is available.
The web address for the pre-registration site is covidvaccine.idaho.gov.
In a media release March 5, Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s office said the new online system is an attempt “to help alleviate the frustration of many Idahoans in trying to make an appointment to get the vaccine.”
“The ability for Idahoans to get a vaccine — should they choose to do so — is my top priority,” Little said, calling the site “user-friendly, easy to understand, and it was built from the ground up with Idahoans in mind.”
Little told the Sandpoint Reader during a visit to North Idaho in January that the state has “no intention of mandating” the COVID-19 vaccine for Idahoans, and instead hopes that the more people get vaccinated, the more people will feel comfortable pursuing inoculation.
Little issued a statement March 9 commemorating nearly a year of COVID-19 in Idaho; the state recorded its first case on March 13, 2020. He acknowledged that almost 1,900 Idaho residents have died of “this new, dangerous, and aggressive disease.”
“We mourn the loss of life and pray for strength and peace for the loved ones they left behind,” he continued.
Little also touched on the “progress” that state has made in fighting the virus, including the nearly 300,000 Idahoans who have received at least one dose of the vaccine — just more than 4,000 of those, as of March 10, being fully-vaccinated Bonner County residents.
“I want to thank the people of Idaho, from the bottom of my heart, for the sacrifices you have made over the past year,” Little said.
Appointments for a vaccine clinic hosted by the Panhandle Health District in Bonner County are now open. Visit panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19/vaccine to sign up. Those with questions about COVID-19 or receiving a vaccine in North Idaho — or who lack access to the internet and need help scheduling an appointment — can also call the PHD hotline at 877-415-5225.
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