Governor (copy)

Gov. Brad Little wears a protective mask printed with Idaho’s state flag in Boise before announcing a COVID reopening plan on Sept. 18.

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BOISE — Gov. Brad Little said 13,650 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are scheduled to reach Idaho by the middle of next week.

Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration OKs the Pfizer vaccine, a vaccine shipment will be sent to Idaho, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said during Tuesday’s biweekly AARP call.

“They will be on the ground Tuesday or Wednesday of next week,” Jeppesen told listeners, clarifying that those first doses would be given to health care workers.

An FDA review published Tuesday confirmed that the vaccine appears to meet the standard for emergency use authorization, the Washington Post reports. An FDA advisory committee will consider the vaccine Thursday, with a decision expected in the days after that.

While the first shipment has an exact number attached to it, it is unclear about the size of the next shipments of vaccines. And, Jeppesen said, the Moderna vaccine would most likely be OK’d within 48 hours of the Pfizer vaccine.

“These are safe and effective,” Jeppesen said of the two vaccines, which were designed, tested and produced at an expedited pace over the past 10 months.

During the call, Little was asked if the change in presidential administration would make a difference in how Idaho responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is something the old administration and the new administration need to work on, that it’s as seamless as possible,” he said. “We’re at a critical stage with the COVID virus in the United States and in the world, and the less friction there is on good policy, the better it is for all of us.”

Little acknowledged that President-elect Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 election.

“I’m a Republican, the new administration is Democrat,” he said. “I hope to work with (the new administration) and have good relationships going forward.”

Little said that with the new vaccines, it’s possible Idahoans could go back to a semblance of “normal” sometime between April and June of 2021. He also cautioned people to stay wary of the novel coronavirus, calling it “irrefutable” that COVID-19 was more deadly than the seasonal flu.

“We know what it takes to keep people safe,” Little said, a list of items that includes personal hygiene and wearing face coverings.

Little warned that if things continue to go downhill, community activities such as high school basketball games might have to be canceled like they were in the spring.

“If numbers get too bad, we may have a similar circumstance … where we eliminated everything,” Little said.

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