Federal lawsuit challenges Idaho vaccination plans

An 87-year-old south-central Idaho man has filed a federal lawsuit against Republican Gov. Brad Little and the state’s health department seeking to force the state to put people 65 and over at the front of the line for the coronavirus vaccination. Richard Byrd of Rogerson in the lawsuit filed Monday said it’s a life-and-death issue for older people who tend to die at much higher rates than younger people if they get COVID-19. The first phase of Idaho’s plan calls for vaccinating 130,000 front-line health care workers and long-term care residents. Little’s objective is to distribute the vaccine’s limited supply to preserve health care capacity and protect the most vulnerable. The first phase of vaccinations aims to fulfill both those goals by vaccinating health care workers who come in contact with COVID-19 patients and residents of long-term care facilities where outbreaks can be especially deadly. Byrd takes issue with vaccinating health care workers who he said tend to be younger and healthier and more likely to survive getting COVID-19 than older adults. Under the state’s proposed plan, Byrd is in the second group to get vaccinated, comprised of essential workers and adults 75 and over. (AP)

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