The Benewah Community Hospital has created a plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
Benewah Community Hospital CEO, Chuck Lloyd, said that distribution of the vaccine is based on phases that have been determined by Gov. Brad Little and the Panhandle Health District.
BCH is in Phase 1a which is where the vaccine is being provided to front-line health-care workers. He said that the next phase will be for essential workers such as dentists, pharmacists and teachers.
“As far as when the public can get vaccinated it’s still a moving target,” Mr. Lloyd said. “Depending on how many people per phase want to get vaccinated and how fast we can get them vaccinated will determine when we move from phase to phase.”
Mr. Lloyd said that those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are still encouraged to call BCH to get their names added to a list.
He said that the plan includes getting those who are interested in the vaccine to schedule an appointment with a health-care provider.
The health-care provider will do an overall health check-up to see if the patient will be susceptible to an adverse reaction from the vaccine. Those who are cleared will be placed on another list and will be scheduled for one of the vaccine clinic days that the hospital plans to have in the upcoming weeks and months.
Mr. Lloyd said that BCH expects to start scheduling appointments in mid to late January. He hopes to start distributing vaccines to the next phase, phase 1b, by February.
“The phases are dependent on how many in a group we have that want it,” Mr. Lloyd said. “Things could move up quicker and we could get to the public faster if not many in Phase 1b want it.”
Katherine Hoyer with Panhandle Health said that they received 975 of the second doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 1,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be received later this week to be distributed to the five northern counties.
Ms. Hoyer could not provide the number of those vaccines that will go to Benewah County health care facilities.
Ms. Hoyer said that all of those incoming doses have been allocated and that Panhandle Health plans to get shipments of the vaccine weekly as they become available.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to be screened for the COVID-19 vaccine contact BCH at 208-245-5551.