More Idaho National Guard troops to help with virus fight

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The number of Idaho National Guard soldiers helping with the state’s coronavirus response will increase from 250 to 400 to increase vaccine distribution, Idaho Gov. Brad Little said Tuesday.

The Republican governor also announced new grants for healthcare providers to more quickly administer the vaccine across the state.

“The safe and efficient administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho is my number one priority,” Little said in a statement.

Enrolled vaccine providers can use the grants to increase staffing, purchase needed equipment and supplies, and improve vaccine access for hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. Grant amounts will be based on the number of doses provided.

“Since the start of vaccine distribution in our state, Idaho has had a strong safety record, and we will continue to make safety a priority as we work to accelerate the administration of doses,” Little said.