Idaho can expect to receive approximately 20,000 doses of COVID-19 per week moving forward according to state officials speaking during an online media briefing, Tuesday.

Officials speaking at the media briefing credited a smoother distribution process as reason for being able to achieve the increased distribution. However, Gov. Brad Little noted that nothing is certain.

“This is a very dynamic process, how much vaccine we have, what do we do for storage. And we don’t know how many people we have to sign up. Our goal is to safely, quickly, and fairly distribute the vaccine…” Gov. Little said.

According to the coronavirus.idaho.gov tracker 20,843 vaccines were administered as of Jan. 5, 2021. Vaccine administration began three weeks ago. Initial efforts to distribute the vaccine in Idaho fell short by as much as 44 percent in late December 2020.

According to Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator for the Idaho Division of Public Health, vaccine administration efforts are improving.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of vaccines each week,” she said.

Idaho’s phased plan follow CDC recommendations prioritizing health-care personnel, long-term care facility residents in the first phase. The second phase targets essential workers such as educators, correctional facility staff, food processer and grocery store workers, Idaho National Guard and other essential workers who cannot telecommute or distance from others at work.

The state can adapt their own guidelines and distribution priorities could change.

Idaho Press Boise Bureau Chief, speaking at the meeting, noted “vehement” opposition to the state plan during Gov. Little’s AARP conference earlier in the day because the plan prioritized essential workers over individuals 65 and older.

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