BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Thursday ordered the state’s seven public health districts and providers to regularly report the number of coronavirus vaccine doses they have received and administered to increase transparency.
The Republican governor issued an executive order that also requires the entities to show how many doses they have in their inventories.
Little said he wants to shine more light on vaccine administration and improve transparency about where the vaccine is available.
He said doses should be injected within seven days of entering Idaho. The state is getting about 24,000 doses a week.
“If it appears a provider is not administering their allocated doses quickly enough, we will step in to ensure they speed things up,” Little said.
He said the information should be publicly available by Feb. 8.
Nearly 90,000 people have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccine, including Little earlier this week. The 66-year-old governor said he had no bad reaction to the shot, calling it “a walk in the park compared to the shingles shot I got a month or two ago.”
Idaho’s timeline allows people 65-and-over to begin making appointments to get the shot starting Feb. 1. There are more than 265,000 people in that group in Idaho, Little said, anticipating demand for the vaccine will jump.
“Based on our current allocation, it could take nearly two months for eligible people to receive their first dose,” Little said. “So I ask, please be patient.”
He also said he’s been in contact with the Biden administration.
“When it comes to our anticipated supply, I want the people of Idaho to know we are pressing the Biden administration to make sure Idaho receives more doses of vaccine as quickly as the supply chain can be ramped up,” Little said.
He had confidence Idaho would receive more doses.
“That number is going to go up, there’s no question about that,” he said, mentioning new companies that could start producing the vaccine as well as existing companies increasing production.
He said he expects over half of Idaho’s adult population to be inoculated against the virus by late spring or early summer if Idaho receives more doses.
“All these steps should give Idahoans confidence that we are actively addressing any challenges we have identified in getting the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine administered in Idaho as quickly, transparently, and fairly as possible,” he said.
The virus has infected more than 160,000 residents, and more than 1,700 have died, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.