Panhandle Health District brings vaccines to businesses, homes in effort to vaccinate more people

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The number of vaccinated people in Idaho is growing. In fact, 35.6% have at least one dose and 30.1% of people are fully vaccinated.

Compared to the rest of the nation, though, Idaho is one of the states falling behind in getting people vaccinated, according to a New York Times map.

In North Idaho, Panhandle Health District (PHD) is trying to make it as easy as possible for people to get the shot. If you can’t go to them, they’ll go to you.

Many people have busy lives, making it tough for some to go to a clinic to get vaccinated.

Emilee Piedmont was busy with college classes, but she was able to get her vaccine when her sister did at a clinic held at Lake City High School.

“It was an easy clinic to access, way easier to schedule than maybe to get it through the doctor and something like that so mostly for the convenience of it,” Piedmont said.

According to a Harris poll, 10% of people won’t get the vaccine until they get around to it. So, the health district is trying to make it as easy as possible. It saw vaccine demand plateau after vaccinating people 65 and older. In an effort to increase access, they’re bringing the vaccine to people at their home and businesses.

“We just want to reduce any barrier people have to receiving the vaccine. If we bring the vaccine directly to them, they’re more likely to receive it,” said Katherine Hoyer, public information officer at PHD.

The health district said it’ll go anywhere in its five northern counties to help vaccinate people. It’s already been to Silverwood, Lucky Friday Mine and more.

“There was a large interest for our full-time and seasonal cast and crew members. So, since there was a big interest in that, we wanted to do our part to make our employees feel as safe as possible here at the park,” said Stephanie Sampson, public relations manager at Silverwood.

The health district will also go to a person’s house, if they can’t access a clinic. It’ll coordinate with any businesses or people who want it straight at their door.

“By bringing the vaccine into a business, into an organization, people don’t have take time off work, they don’t have to drive to a separate location. It’s just the easier we make it for them, hopefully the easier it is to receive your vaccine,” Hoyer said, hoping to help more people get protected against COVID.

“Being able to get this was definitely – it makes me feel better about the whole situation and I’ll definitely feel even more better with the second dose,” Piedmont said.