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BOISE — The first shipment of 1,200 doses the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Saint Alphonsus hospitals on Dec. 23.

Idaho was on track to receive 28,000 doses last week, Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said.

An estimated 9,600 of those will go to Central District Health, which oversees Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley counties. The Moderna vaccine does not require the ultra-cold temperatures the Pfizer vaccine does to remain stable, which will help with distribution to Idaho’s rural areas, Jeppesen said.

Saint Alphonsus spokesman Mark Snider said the vaccines would be given to staff in the health system in short order.

Air St. Luke’s on Dec. 23 flew 600 doses of the Moderna vaccine to its rural Idaho communities of McCall and Wood River, according to spokeswoman Anita Kissée.

“This will help to expedite the distribution to rural Tier 1 and Tier 2 frontline health care workers,” she said in an email.

On Dec. 22, Primary Health Medical Group received its first shipment of the other major COVID-19 vaccine, produced by Pfizer-BioNTech; the health care company plans to vaccinate more than 400 health care workers this week, according to a press release.

“Our first priority was to offer COVID-19 vaccine to our employees, and I am thrilled to say more than 300 of our staff and providers have already taken advantage of that,” Dr. David Peterman, Primary Health CEO, said in a statement. “In addition, we expect to receive 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, at which point we will continue vaccinating health care workers outside Primary Health at four of our Boise locations.”

Health care workers are in the first group to be vaccinated; as of Wednesday more than 6,500 doses had been distributed in Idaho.

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