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Idaho speeds up COVID-19 vaccination eligibility schedule


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BOISE (AP) — COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be open to all Idaho residents 16 and up starting April 5, Gov. Brad Little said Wednesday.

The Republican governor made the move three weeks ahead of schedule. He also said people with at least one medical condition will be able to get the vaccine starting Monday, about two weeks ahead of schedule.

Little is urging residents to get vaccinated.

“Folks, with each passing week as more and more Idahoans choose to get vaccinated, we get closer to returning to normal,” Little said during his online announcement that lasted about three minutes. “The COVID vaccine really is our best shot at protecting jobs and saving lives.”

About 180,000 Idaho residents have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 1,900 have died.Nearly 250,000 residents are now fully vaccinated against the disease, and another 145,000 have received the first dose of vaccines that require two-doses. About 1.8 million people live in the state.

Currently eligible for the vaccine are those 55 and older, healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders, K-12 teachers and school staff, and frontline essential workers.