National Guard personnel, healthcare grants to assist in Idaho’s vaccine distribution

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Governor Brad Little assigned 400 National Guard members to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine quickly across the state.

Previously, 200 members were assigned for distribution — on Tuesday, Little announced an additional 150 members to help.

“Our women and men in the Idaho National Guard have stepped in to meet critical needs at healthcare facilities across Idaho since the fall,” said Little, “and the availability of additional guardsmen to assist with vaccine distribution moving forward will help us even more in the pandemic fight.”

Additionally, the state announced new grants for healthcare providers so they can step up vaccinations. This includes funding for extra staffing, buying supplies and improving vaccine access for vulnerable communities. Funds are determined based off the number of vaccine doses those providers administer.

“The safe and efficient administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho is my number one priority,” said Little. “The State of Idaho ensures available doses are sent directly to healthcare providers, but the providers are the ones to get the shots in the arms of people who want it. We are actively working to ensure there are absolutely no resource barriers for providers in performing this critical role.”

The Governor’s Office says vaccine rollout has been markedly slow due to the low number of doses they receive from the federal government, which are approved and shipped to healthcare providers, which then are given only after an appointment.

Governor Little hopes these funds will help expedite that process.