Iowa orders around 29% of its vaccine allocation as experts try to reach those who don’t want a shot

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 8:57 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) said the state of Iowa ordered 19,870 of the 68,950 (28%) of the COVID vaccine doses it was allocated for the week of May 10th. Sarah Ekstrand, who is a spokesperson for the department, said 97 counties either declined part or all of their allocated doses.

Monona and Emmett, according to the department, were the only two counties to accept all of its doses. The numbers illustrated the demand for people getting their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is dropping. Iowa reported it administered 4,500 fewer shots than the week before. WIth the initial crush of shot seekers now largely vaccinated, the focus pivots to those who haven’t rolled up their sleeves yet.

Aaron Scherer, who is a researcher at the University of Iowa, looks at using psychology to increase vaccination rates. He said the best way to get these people vaccinated is to get personal rather than use large clinics.

“The best way we’re going to increase vaccination rates besides a strong provider recommendation is to find members of communities, who have low vaccine confidence, and make connections with trusted members of those communities to advocate for vaccines,” Scherer said.

He also there’s a number of reasons why somebody doesn’t want a vaccine, so it’s unlikely one thing will convince the hesitant to get vaccinated. But, people are still getting their COVID-19 vaccines. That includes Michael Young, who got his first shot on Friday.

He said he always wanted a vaccine, but he didn’t know he was eligible until he heard from President Joe Biden that everyone was eligible.

“When they first started rolling it out, I wasn’t eligible,” he said. “I guess I just wasn’t keeping track.”

More younger people are becoming eligible too, like Kaitlynn Scott. She’s 16-years-old and said she couldn’t wait to get her shot

”I want to get it as soon as I can just to be as safe as possible,” she said.

Ekstrand said IDPH expects demand for shots to increase as younger people become eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

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