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Gritman Medical Center ready to receive first COVID-19 vaccine distribution

(Pictured above: Gritman Chief Information Officer Kane Francetich and Pharmacist Keriann Bennett in a secured area of the hospital that has been prepared to receive and store COVID-19 vaccines.)

Gritman Medical Center has been in close coordination for many weeks with regional and state public health officials regarding plans for the transportation, storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as they are approved for use by the federal government and made available in our region by public health authorities.

  • The first approved COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available to the general public.
  • The first phase of vaccine distribution in Idaho will be limited to critical medical personnel, first responders and others responsible for the delivery of emergency and medical care.
  • As vaccines become more widely available in the weeks and months to come, they will begin being offered to priority populations and eventually the general public as recommended by state and federal public health officials.
  • The Office of Governor Brad Little, The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and Public Health—Idaho North Central District have the authority to prioritize distribution of the vaccines based on recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Please watch these trusted websites for updates on the future vaccine distribution process and availability status:
SEL temp monitor 1Temperatures in Gritman’s vaccine storage systems are monitored with special sensing and monitoring technology made right here on the Palouse by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.

“Gritman Medical Center has been planning and preparing to receive COVID-19 vaccines for many weeks,” Gritman President and CEO Kara Besst said. “We have worked in partnership with the University of Idaho to add additional storage capacity at the hospital for the different types of vaccines. We are ready for more vaccine doses as well as multiple vaccine types from different manufacturers as they become available on a wider scale in the weeks and months ahead. To help keep the vaccine doses safe, we are using a temperature monitor and digital data logger made by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.

“Gritman has been a health care leader in the region for over 124 years,” Besst added, “and we are fully staged during this unprecedented time to do our part to help protect the health of our employees, patients and community.”