Local providers spearhead Bonner, Boundary vaccine efforts

BGH reopens registration for those 65 and older

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Bonner General Health is once again taking registrations for the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine after temporarily pausing sign-ups for people 65 and older on Jan. 27 due to a backlog of appointments.

Dr. Chase Williams receives one of the first vaccinations administered at BGH in December 2020. Photo courtesy BGH.

“Bonner General Health continues to work through our list of patients who have registered for their vaccination,” BGH spokesperson Erin Binnall told the Sandpoint Reader on Feb. 10. “The BGH team is doing all we can to accommodate as many patients as possible while following the state’s stratification guidelines.”

Binnall said that as of Feb. 9, BGH had administered 2,350 vaccinations — 289 of those being second doses. BGH is currently allocated between 200-300 doses per week.

“For the next two weeks, Bonner General will have administered 800 more second doses and 600 first doses,” Binnall said. “We are hopeful the county’s dose allocation will continue to increase in the coming months to vaccinate the overwhelming volume of people wanting the vaccine. We are grateful to the volunteers assisting us in our vaccination clinic and the community for your patience as we work through the 4,500 registrations.”

BGH is currently taking registrations for Idaho’s 1a and 1b priority groups, which include health care personnel; long-term care staff and residents; some home care providers; EMS and first responders; dental providers; pharmacy personnel; safety services; pre-K-12 educational staff; child care workers; and correctional and detention facility staff. The hospital has also reopened registration for people 65 and older.

BGH vaccine clinic hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. by appointment only. Registration is available at bonnergeneral.org/covid19-coronavirus.

While the Panhandle Health District hosts vaccine clinics for Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties, all vaccines allocated to Bonner and Boundary counties are being administered by enrolled providers in those counties. Enrolled providers in the area currently include BGH, Sandpoint Family Health Center, Kaniksu Health Services, Boundary Community Hospital, Sandpoint Super Drug, White Cross Pharmacy and Medicine Man Pharmacy.

“Appointments may fill quickly,” PHD officials warned online. “It is recommended to check back each week. Thank you for your patience.”

As of Feb. 10, 155,814 Idahoans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 39,720 having received both. In Bonner County, 2,712 residents had received a single dose, and 1,414 had received two.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 458 new cases of COVID-19 across the state on Feb. 10, bringing the statewide total since March 2020 to 166,553 cases and 1,791 deaths. PHD reports that 2,849 Bonner County residents have had the virus, with 517 of those cases currently active and 30 resulting in death.

Those with questions about COVID-19 or the vaccine can reach the PHD hotline at 877-415-5225.

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