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Gov. Reynolds outlines Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine plan, expands to those 65 and older

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 12:05 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Gov. Reynolds on Thursday announced the state is preparing to move to Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan and has updated Phase 1B to include 5 tiers.

Iowa is currently in Phase 1A of its vaccination plan. However, Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services Kelly Garcia said the demand for vaccinations in this phase is waning, and it’s time to move on.

Reynolds said the state is currently being allocated 19,500 doses a week, but expects that number to increase by February 8th to 39,000. And then each week after, the State says they should receive 10,000 additional doses, meaning 49,000 weekly doses starting February 15th.

Starting on February 1st, Iowans age 65 and older will be eligible for vaccination, which Reynolds said includes more than 500,000 Iowans. Then, in early February, vaccinations will be eligible for more people.

Reynolds outlined Phase 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan.
Reynolds outlined Phase 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan.(KCRG)

Phase 1B has been expanded to include 5 tiers as follows:

Tier 1:

  • First responders (firefighters, police officers, child welfare social workers)
  • PK-12 staff, early childhood education, childcare workers

Tier 2:

  • Frontline essential workers in food, agriculture and manufacturing sectors who live or work in non-social distanced settings.
  • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings.

Tier 3:

  • Staff and individuals living in congregate settings not covered by a previous phase or tier.
  • Government officials, including staff, engaged in business at State Capitol.

Tier 4:

  • Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety.

Tier 5:

  • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated.

Each subsequent tier will be phased in over time.

“This is good news, and it’s an important step forward, but I want to be very clear,” Reynold said. “This does not mean that we can open vaccination up to all Iowans, or even that vaccine will be immediately available to all of the groups that have been prioritized in phase 1B. The national vaccine supply remains limited.”

Reynolds emphasized patience as the vaccine rollout will take time.

Reynolds said the state ranks 46th nationally for the amount of doses distributed, but ranks 15th for the number of doses administered.

As of Wednesday, 156,296 total vaccine doses have been administered.

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