Gov. Reynolds: Covid-19 vaccines are expected around December 13 after Iowa’s deadliest day
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the state will begin receiving its first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines soon, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Reynolds outlined an approximate timetable saying the first shipment will include 26,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine around December 13. The week of December 20, the state anticipates another 31 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and pending approval, the first shipment of 54,000 of the Moderna vaccine.
The week of December 27, the state anticipates another 95,000 Pfizer vaccine and 77 more doses of the Moderna vaccine to arrive in Iowa.
In total, the state will receive more than 170,000 dozes of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the course of December. But the timetable is subject to change due to the fact that both are still currently under emergency review.
“The federal government has developed a long term care pharmacy partnership, and that is a program that leverages national pharmacies to help administer the vaccine in long term care facilities,” Reynolds said. “This will allow us to quickly and efficiently vaccine our most vulnerable population first in communities across the state.”
Reynolds said the state plans to prioritize the distribution of the vaccine according to CDC recommendations, with the first doses going to frontline workers in hospitals and those in long term care facilities.
Kelly Garcia, who is the interim director of the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Human Services, said she expects anyone who wants the vaccine will have it available to them by the middle of 2021.
However, Director Garcia said life will not immediately go back to normal even with the vaccine. Both Garcia and Reynolds urged Iowans to maintain virus mitigation efforts throughout the winter months.
The vaccine news comes after 70 Iowans were reported to have died from the virus over the last 24 hours, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. The previous record was 47 deaths, set on November 25.
Governor Kim Reynolds said she is cautiously optimistic as the outlook for the virus is improving in Iowa.
She pointed to hospitalizations decreasing along with more than 30 long term care facilities soon to be removed from outbreak status.
168 facilities had outbreaks as of Tuesday, which was around a third of all facilities in the state.
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