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Linn County Hospitals start COVID-19 vaccines for 65+

Linn County Hospital can’t verify age before an appointment for a COIVD-19 vaccine is made
Linn County Hospital can’t verify age before an appointment for a COIVD-19 vaccine is made
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 8:10 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Public Health Department told reporters those 65-years-old or older will be able to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine through healthcare providers starting Tuesday.

But each hospital is handling that process differently.

Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids put a link to sign up for an appointment on the front page of its’ website. Anyone 65 and older is able to sign-up, even without getting a notice to do so from a medical provider. A spokesperson for Mercy said it will verify each person’s identification and qualifications to get a vaccine at the appointment.

If somebody wrongly scheduled an appointment, the hospital might have a limited amount of time to vaccinate somebody who did qualify.

If it couldn’t find somebody who could qualify, according to Iowa’s vaccination shortage order, it could give it to a person who is in a phase that has not yet been activated to avoid vaccine waste.

Both Mercy Medical Center and the Linn County Public Health Department is urging people to be honest when making the appointment to avoid that scenario.

Mercy Medical Center Website
Mercy Medical Center Website(None)

A spokesperson UnityPoint-St.Lukes told us it’s contacting patients through the phone, a text or direct mail. It will then try to reach those with two or more high-risk medical conditions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version incorrectly stated that people 65 and older could only sign-up for an appointment if they are contacted by their doctor. The vaccine appointments are available to anyone 65 and older but Linn County Public Health is encouraging people not to call their doctor to avoid inundating offices and to let providers prioritize those most at risk.

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