Gov. Reynolds: State remains on target to open up vaccinations to all Iowans April 5th

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020 file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state's response...
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020 file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference in Johnston, Iowa. At a 2019 event, Reynolds auctioned off an afternoon of her time to the highest bidder to raise money for her top campaign donors' charity. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 12:48 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the state remains on track to open up vaccinations to all Iowans on April 5th. Last week, Reynolds said vaccines would open up as long as the state’s vaccine dose allocation from the federal government increases as expected.

“Once again, there is going to be more demand than supply at first, just as we’ve experienced each time eligibility was expanded,” Reynolds said. “So please be patient as our weekly allocations continue to increase, so will our number of appointments available. And soon there will be enough vaccine for everyone.”

The Governor said the number of doses the state will receive should increase by at least 25,000 doses and the state will begin to see more Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

But, the Governor also acknowledged the disparity in vaccination rates between races. Along, with acknowledging a mistake in state data that showed significantly more Iowans 65-years-old and older were vaccinated than in reality.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday said 76.3% of people 65-years-old and older were vaccinated. Last week, Governor Reynolds said 95% of people 65-years-old and older were vaccinated.

Gov. Reynolds said the state made an error, which caused people to be counted incorrectly. But, there will always be a difference between CDC and state data because they use different numbers to calculate that population.

As of Wednesday, there are now 504,898 people in Iowa fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The state’s vaccine administration dashboard shows a total of 1,299,260 vaccine doses have been administered as of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

But, only 1.07% of those doses went to Black Iowans. And 1.67% of doses went to Iowans who identify as Hispanic or Latino.

Gov. Reynolds acknowledged these disparities but pointed out a significant number of Iowans don’t identify their race when getting out a vaccine.

The Governor said the state is looking into plans to expand the state’s 211 services to serve those under 65-years-old. The state expanded its’ 211 services to help those 65-years-old or older without internet.

Gov. Reynolds also started her press conference by offering her prayers for the two staff members who died after an assault by an inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary on Tuesday.

Legislative Priorities

Governor Kim Reynolds didn’t commit to signing a bill, which is on her desk regarding gun rights. The bill would allow people to buy firearms and carry a concealed handgun without first obtaining a state permit in the state.

The bill was approved Monday with only Republican support. Last week it cleared the House with the backing of only one Democrat.

The bill would eliminate current state permit requirements and the accompanying background checks that ensure the person obtaining or carrying a gun isn’t disqualified from ownership due to past felonies or abuses.

The Dubuque County sheriff told TV9 on Tuesday about his concern over a gun bill making permits optional.

COVID-19 Numbers

Over the last 24 hours, the Iowa Department of Public Health added eight more reported COVID-19 related deaths to the state’s total, along with an additional 758 more cases of the virus.

As of 10:30 a.m. the state is reporting a total of 347,068 people in Iowa have tested positive since the pandemic began, and a total of 5,683 people have died with the virus.

Hospitalizations went up slightly with 190 people reportedly hospitalized with the virus. That’s up from the 185 reported on Tuesday. There are currently 40 COVID-19 patients in the ICU and 19 on ventilators.

Over the last 24 hours, the state reported 3,462 individuals were tested for COVID-19. A total of 1,620,063 individuals have been tested in Iowa since the pandemic began. According to this data, the positivity rate over the last 24 hours was 21.9 percent.

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