University of Iowa students eager after announcement of vaccine availability on campus

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 11:54 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that the state would start distributing allotments of its one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Iowa’s colleges and universities.

Next week, a small allocation of vaccine doses is going to the University of Iowa, Dordt University in Sioux Center, Northwestern College in Orange City, and Des Moines Area Community College.

In the weeks following, larger amounts of the J&J vaccine are expected to go toward this effort to vaccinate students and staff at colleges.

“Because of the convenience of the single-dose vaccine, J&J really is an ideal vaccine for those whose work schedules may not have the flexibility for two appointments or for populations with immediate opportunity, and such is the case for our college students,” Reynolds said during a news conference Wednesday.

The University of Iowa said it did not know how many doses it will get and wrote in a campus-wide email Wednesday that it expects availability to be limited for at least the first few weeks.

“I think that’s really what’s going to take this campus from being isolated,” freshman Dane Carstensen of Cedar Rapids said.

Carstensen plans to get the vaccine and believes just having to get a single dose might persuade some students to get vaccinated as well.

Sophomore Jonathan Fernandez of Rock Island, Illinois, agreed but said he would get whichever vaccine becomes available to him first.

“I don’t really see what the downside of it is,” Fernandez said. “If it’s going to help the university open up and help everybody feel safe and everything, then I feel like everyone should consider it, at least.”

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