Confusion surrounding distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 10:53 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The state of Iowa is still working through phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccines. That means only healthcare workers and those who live and work in long term care facilities are receiving the doses.

Health officials say Iowans are inundating county health departments, doctor’s offices, and even our newsroom with questions on when they can get vaccinated.

The state released more information on Tuesday saying the next group to get vaccinated in Iowa will be those 75 and older, those with certain chronic diseases, and people who can’t socially distance at work- like prison staff and meatpacking plant employees. However, it’s those 65 and older calling the Dubuque Health Department to ask when it’s their turn. Especially since nearby Illinois is about to start inoculating that population.

“I understand why it’s confusing,” says Mary Rose Corrigan, the Dubuque Public Health Specialist. “You have broad guidelines from the CDC and then states making their guidelines based on their situation.”

Iowa received almost 270,000 doses. 41% of those have been used. The state has a goal to move to the next phase by February 1st. The Johnson County Community Health Manager, Sam Jarvis, says it’s not sure that will happen because there are so many doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who are waiting.

“We want to make sure that we can reach all health care providers and those who are at direct risk,” says Jarvis. “Getting them back to sustain the health care system is important.”

Jarvis and Corrigan are asking people to be patient while they continue vaccinating health care workers and those in care facilities.

“When they are phoning our offices, or health care provider’s offices, it does take us away from our regular duties,” says Corrigan.

“We will be providing the most up-to-date information to the public as quickly as possible,” says Jarvis.

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