Idaho COVID-19 vaccine planners have decided who to put at the front of the line for virus shots, writes Post Register reporter Kyle Pfannenstiel. But they are in a pickle

Idaho COVID-19 vaccine planners have decided who to put at the front of the line for virus shots, writes Post Register reporter Kyle Pfannenstiel. But they are in a pickle as they decide how to structure the rest of the line. Seniors and some frontline workers, such as pre-K-12 school staff and teachers and child care workers, are receiving shots now. Up next in Idahos tentative plan are essential workers and residents age 16 and up with high-risk medical conditions.
Figuring out how to establish someone actually has a medical condition that puts them at high-risk for COVID-19 complications is at the core of the debate. Some say family doctors can help, and that people who want vaccines will be honest. But having a regular family doctor or clinic isnt economically feasible for everyone, others note.
Idahos vaccine advisory panel opened discussions Friday about how to open virus shot access to around 300,000 Idahoans with high-risk medical conditions and 80,000 essential workers.
The panel, which advises Gov. Brad Little, didnt make any final calls Friday.
But a division that could color future discussions became clear as the panel made a non-binding vote on four ways to address vaccine plans: 15 panelists voted to, in some way, put people with high-risk medical conditions up first or at the same time as essential workers. A dozen others voted in favor of going to a strictly age-based approach to vaccinate the roughly 1 million Idaho adults that arent in priority groups already.
Stratifying vaccine access according to that plan would split up all Idahoans age 64 or below into five groups of around 200,000 each.
You can read Pfannenstiel’s full story online here, or pick up today’s Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press; it’s on the front page.
Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.