Federal COVID-19 vaccine distribution opens options for Iowans

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 4:45 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON Co., Iowa (KCRG) - After months of phone calls and struggling to get enough vaccines, one county health department said federal vaccine distribution to pharmacies was helping to create more vaccination opportunities.

After two weeks of searching for a vaccine, Edye Freeman of Keota said they finally found one for their 16-year-old daughter, Peyton.

“It took a lot of finagling to be able to get her an appointment,” she said.

Peyton said her arm was a little sore, but felt fine otherwise. That first dose of Pfizer wasn’t because he has an underlying condition, it was for her mother who was an 8-year cancer survivor.

“It gives me some security to know that my parents were a little bit safer now,” she said. “Hopefully, I won’t bring it back to them.”

While it has been a struggle to get a vaccine for Payton, the Washington County Health Department Federal distribution was starting to make it easier for people to find a vaccine.

“We’ve seen Hy-Vee, Pharmacy on 8th getting additional doses it has helped alleviate some of the burdens we were initially seeing at local health departments,” said Danielle Pettit-Majeyski, the County Health Director.

Pettit-Majeyski said more places giving vaccines meant more options for those wanting one.

“If we can serve people that may live somewhere else but work here, absolutely we would do that,” she said. If we have people who drive up to Iowa City, and it was easier for them to get it after work, that’s great.”

Pettit-Majeyski said their focus has started turning towards people who might be hesitant to get the vaccine. She said getting those people on board would help keep people like Edye safe from the virus.

“When COVID-19 started circulating, it added to the stress of what if,” said Freeman. “If they were to bring COVID home, I may do fine with it, but I may not.”

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