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Local Health Departments were not told in advance about changes to vaccination groups

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:28 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - County health departments are adjusting after Governor Kim Reynolds adjusted the states COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

Multiple county health departments told TV9 they were not aware in advance of the change, which made adults 65-years-old or older eligible for the vaccine. Before, only adults 75-years-old or older were eligible.

The change allows more than 500,000 people to receive the vaccine.

Shannon Zoffka, who is the executive director for the Tama County Health Department, said she was surprised when she heard of the change.

“We weren’t expecting it,” she said. “So it was a surprise definitely that we printed out the information and didn’t even really look at the tiers. Then we read it and noticed it said 65 and up also and we went ope that’s a big change.”

Linn County was also not aware of the change in advance. It says it doesn’t have a way for people in 1B to sign up for a vaccine appointment yet and plans to announce details including sign-up information on Monday.

The Iowa Department of Public Health did say they are in constant communication with local health departments.

The other change - mandating how counties prioritize within eligible groups.

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