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People 65 and older, teachers, first responders among those eligible for COVID vaccine starting February 1st

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:13 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Governor Reynolds held her first news conference of 2021 today to talk about where Iowa is on COVID-19 vaccinations. She announced plans to begin vaccinating the second phase of people eligible starting February 1st. This includes first responders, teachers, child care workers and people 65 and older.

The Governor says there are not enough vaccines to go around at this point, so just because people in phase 1b will be eligible next month does not mean they will all get a vaccine right away.

Iowa is getting 19,500 doses of vaccines in each week. This puts the state 46th in the country when it comes to the amount of vaccines allocated to a state. Governor Reynolds says the amount of vaccines each state receives is supposed to be based on population so leaders are trying to understand why Iowa is so far down the list. About 1 in 6 Iowans are age 65 or older.

“Iowa has an elderly population and when you consider the number of nursing homes, long term care facilities and assistant living facilities that we have in the state and the vulnerable populations that those include I would hope that we can get our allocation bumped up a little bit,” the Governor said in the news conference.

She says contrary to some belief, states can’t just order more vaccines so she’s reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services to try and get some answers for the state.

Prior to today’s announcement phase 1b included people 75 and older, moving the age down to 65 puts Iowa in line with several other states who have people age 65 and older as part of phase 1b.

While the state hasn’t been getting as many vaccines as most other states, Iowa is towards to top of the list when it comes to administering the vaccines. The state ranks 15th in the country as vaccines are being administered soon after they arrive.

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