80 Iowa counties turned down vaccine shipments, as demand decreases state removes 80% rule

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 7:46 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - As more Iowans are continuing to get vaccinated, 80 counties declined some or all their allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines for the week of May 3rd.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says those counties are from all over Iowa and include Adair, Adams, Appanoose, Audubon, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dickinson, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Humboldt, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Louisa, Lucas, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Monroe, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Sac, Scott, Shelby, Sioux, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Wayne, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, and Wright.

Last week, the Iowa Department of Public Health said about half, 43 counties, declined their allocation last week. Those counties were mostly centered around Western Iowa. Today, counties that aren’t turning down vaccine doses are seeing demand decrease.

Heather Meador, who is the clinical services supervisor with Linn County Public Health, said the demand for vaccines is decreasing in Linn County too.

“We’re hearing it across the board,” Meador said. “Their [vaccine providers] phones aren’t ringing off the hook anymore.”

Meador said the supply of vaccinations has increased to the point where people can pick the vaccine they want.

Sarah Ekstrand, who is a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said Iowa’s decrease in demand is similar to other states.

“Iowa, along with several other states, is seeing a decrease in vaccine demand, but we are working with our local partners and community leaders to determine where additional education is needed and to gain an understanding of the needs of each county’s unique population.”

Ekstrand said the department is hopeful the pause being lifted on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help more vaccines be administered.

Ekstrand also said the department also removed its rule that counties must give out 80% of doses it receives from the state. That rule resulted in some counties being denied doses in February.

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