Despite successful vaccine rollout, Idaho health officials warn to not let guard down

BOISE, Idaho — More than 33,000 people living in Idaho have had their COVID-19 vaccination, and more people will be added to that list come Wednesday. 

While the rollout of the vaccine is a sign of home for many, Dr. David Pate says Idahoans shouldn’t let their guard down just yet. 

“The arrival of a safe COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho just a few weeks ago means we’re in the final stretch of our pandemic fight,” said Gov. Brad Little in a press conference Tuesday. 

It’s a fight that hasn’t been easy. With COVID-19 the leading cause of death across the state, according to the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare. 

“The bottom line is, vaccines are being administered safely and successfully in Idaho,” said Little. 

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He laid out the state’s plan to get even more people vaccinated on Tuesday. The next phase of Idaho’s rollout plan would prioritize teachers, school staff, first responders, and some frontline workers. People in those groups can start getting the vaccine as early as Wednesday. 

People ages 65 and up will be able to get vaccinated starting Feb. 1. 

“This is truly uplifting sense that we have turned the corner,” said Dr. David Pate, a member of the governor’s Coronavirus Work Group. 

He says while there’s certainly a light at the end of the tunnel, there are a lot of other factors to consider. 

“I don’t think we should get over confident. I think we can’t let our guard up. I think we need to get people vaccinated as soon as we can,” said Pate.