Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is picking up again. We ran the numbers.

People in almost all age groups across the Gem State are now rolling up their sleeves.

By: - August 3, 2021 10:24 am
Registered Nurse Katie Kanago gives a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Natalie Palominos, 14, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Caldwell.

Registered Nurse Katie Kanago gives a second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Natalie Palominos, 14, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Caldwell. Squeamish about needles, Palominos looked away, even though she knew the vaccine wouldn’t hurt.

Public health officials have been urging Idahoans for months to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Their pleas went mostly unheeded this summer.

That is, until now.

With a highly infectious Delta variant circulating in Idaho, and with cases and hospitalizations climbing, more Idahoans are choosing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

An Idaho Capital Sun analysis of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data shows the number of people getting their first dose of the vaccine is on a steady rise.

The incline corresponds with a few events: the arrival of the Delta variant and more outbreaks, the warnings from public health and hospital officials about another surge, and the lead-up to students returning to school.

It mirrors a trend across the U.S. that is a response to the growing threat of infection, according to national reports.

Idaho has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the U.S., with just 41.3% of the total population immunized, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.

Vaccination rates currently are lowest among Idahoans age 12 to 15, and highest among those age 65 to 74, according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data. Idahoans under age 34 have been the slowest to get vaccinated so far.

White Idahoans lag residents of other races and ethnicities in getting vaccinated, the data show.

Idaho residents in almost every age group have been increasingly rolling up their sleeves for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine during the past month, the Sun's analysis found.

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.