Yes, decisions to move to the next phase of vaccination occur when everyone in a previous phase is vaccinated

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 12:31 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Question: Someone told me that vaccinations for Group 1A are completed in Dubuque County, but Group 1B cannot start getting the vaccines until Group 1A in the entire state has been vaccinated. Is this true? If so, why?

Source: Multiple conversations with local public health agencies

Answer: Yes, that is true. Everyone in a phase across the entire state of Iowa must receive a vaccine before any county can start vaccinating people in the next group.

So even if Dubuque County finished vaccinating everyone in Phase 1A, it would still have to wait for every county in the state to finish before it can begin vaccinating the next phase. This is happening because there is such a limited supply of vaccines and the state is trying to prioritize those who are most at risk.

The idea being smaller counties can reallocate their vaccine back to the state, which could then send it to places that need more vaccine.

There are some problems with this rule. We spoke to Washington County Public Health who told us it didn’t know how many people are in Phase 1A, which makes it difficult to know when they complete 1A.

It also takes more time to reallocate those doses. The Iowa Department of Public Health told us it will make the decisions on when to move to the next phase based on the number of vaccines put in arms and vaccine inventory.

Even when the state moves forward to a new phase, people in a previous phase are still able to receive the vaccine.

You can find other answers to frequently asked questions here, from Linn County Public Health.

Or you can ask your question to KCRG using the form below or liking and messaging Ethan Stein’s Facebook page.

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