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Kaniksu hosting vaccine clinics this month

by KEITH KINNAIRD
Hagadone News Network | February 10, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Kaniksu Health Services is hosting vaccine clinics on Saturdays in February in Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry.

The clinics are from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kaniksu's pediatric services on U.S. Highway 2 in Sandpoint and its clinic in Bonners Ferry.

This weekend's clinic, however, is already booked solid. Those who qualify for this round of novel coronavirus vaccinations — those 65 and older and frontline workers in the state's 1a classification — must register in advance through Kaniksu.

"It's not a walk-in clinic. You have to register in advance," said Kaniksu spokeswoman Olivia Luther.

Registrations are on pause while Kaniksu finalizes approximately 2,000 registrations it already has on the books. The registration function on Kaniksu's website will be restored once the pending registrations are sorted out, Luther said.

Those in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are asked to bring identification showing they are residents in Bonner or Boundary county and their insurance information. Those who sign up for the vaccine will be asked screening questions to verify their eligibility to receive the vaccine.

"It is free of charge," Luther added.

Vaccines are distributed on a first come/first serve basis for those who have registered, although people with chronic health conditions that put them at greater risk of infection will be prioritized.

You do not have to be a Kaniksu patient in order to receive the vaccine, according to Luther.

Kaniksu is receiving the vaccines through the Panhandle Health District in weekly allotments.

This month's first clinic went off smoothly.

"It went really well," said Luther.

Luther said there were a number of vaccine recipients who were grateful to receive the vaccine because it brought them a step closer to seeing grandchildren they have been sequestered from since the pandemic took hold.

"It's so rewarding to do this," Luther said.

Based on the current supply of vaccine, each week Panhandle Health District will release approximately 650 total appointments for their Kootenai, Shoshone, and Benewah County vaccine clinics.

Boundary and Bonner clinics are being scheduled by enrolled providers in those counties.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and followed on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.