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North Idaho residents 16 or older can now get COVID-19 vaccines: What you need to know

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare agreed that individual health districts within the state may choose to move through vaccine phases at different rates.

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — North Idaho residents who are 16 years or older are now eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine through enrolled providers, Panhandle Health District (PHD) said on Wednesday.

This comes after Gov. Brad Little announced his decision to open up vaccine appointments to all Idahoans over the age of 16 starting Monday, April 5. Little also said any Idaho resident with at least one medical condition would be able to access the vaccine starting Monday, March 29.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare agreed that individual health districts within the state may choose to move through the various Group 3 Subgroups at different rates, PHD said in the press release.

The vaccine is available for North Idaho residents through enrolled providers within Kootenai, Bonner, Boundary, Benewah and Shoshone counties. Appointments for the week of March 29 were released by Panhandle Health District at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

“After assessing the situation with our enrolled vaccine providers, we made the decision as a group to move forward in the phases,” said Don Duffy, Health Services Division Administrator for PHD. “We have the supply and available appointments, but have continued to see a decline in demand. At the end of the day, we just want to get people vaccinated who are choosing to receive a vaccine.”

Many providers are still utilizing their own vaccine appointment scheduling tools, while others have shifted to using the state’s pre-registry vaccine tool where eligible individuals enter their name and contact information. From the pre-registry tool, providers pull names and directly connect with the person eligible for vaccine.

RELATED: Idaho launches new COVID-19 vaccine appointment system

Those who need help by phone with navigating the online appointment scheduling or do not have internet access should call PHD at 877-415-5225 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Enrolled providers within PHD's jurisdiction receive a total of 6,400 doses weekly. More than 98,000 total vaccine doses have been allocated to the region so far. 

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is for persons 16 years or older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are for persons 18 years or older. PHD will state what vaccine is being administered when individuals register for an appointment on their website.