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University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics vaccinates 1,000 people 65 and older in Johnson County

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 6:29 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After nearly a year away from family and friends 1,000 people age 65 and older were vaccinated today in Johnson County.

“It’s been difficult. I used to go to the library at least a couple of times a week, sometimes more often and I miss that,” says Dorothy Bell, an Iowa City resident.

“For so many they’ve been good, they’ve been sheltering, they haven’t been going out. This is their first shot towards getting back to normalcy and I think that’s been really moving for us,” Suresh Gunasekaran told us, CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Katherine Lu and her husband got vaccinated together today, they just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. The couple hasn’t seen family in a year, but they told TV-9 they’ve been eating healthy and taking daily walks throughout the pandemic.

“We want to be responsible citizens so we basically quarantined ourselves at home and we tried to make life livable,” Lu told us.

While everyone vaccinated will still need a second dose, today did bring some relief.

“We have a bunch of patients that haven’t left their house since March so this is kind of like their first time out of the house,” says Paige Pickart, Certified Medical Assistant at UIHC.

UIHC thinks they’ll be able to hold a vaccine clinic every week in Johnson County.

“To get 1,000 through on one day, and still say you know we could do triple this number, I mean that’s really humbling,” Gunasekaran says.

UIHC has no control over how many vaccines they’ll be allocated each week, but their goal is to get to as many people as they can, as quickly and safely as possible.

People in Johnson County who are 65 and older can express their interest in getting the vaccine on the UIHC website to make sure they’re included as names are randomly chosen for vaccines each week.

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