Johnson County passes national July 4 COVID-19 vaccination goal set by Biden administration

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:30 PM CDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) -The U.S. may fall short of the July 4th vaccination goal the White House had called for back in May. That goal was to have 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated by the holiday. The CDC COVID-19 vaccine data tracker says right now, 66.7% of adults in the U.S. have gotten at least one vaccine.

Many states are also falling below the target set by the Biden administration, including Iowa. Iowa currently has 45.5% of adults fully vaccinated, with the CDC reporting 63.8% of adults at least partially vaccinated in the state.

But, Johnson County has already hit that July 4th goal, at 73.8% of adults with at least one dose, and 70.1% fully vaccinated. Now, ahead of the holiday, the county is just a few shots in arms away from vaccinating 70% of people 12 and up. Johnson County Public Health is also reporting as of Thursday, 79.8% of people 26 and up are vaccinated, as well as 58.6% of 12-17-year-olds.

“Wonderful news, wonderful news and very positive. We wanted to share with the community that a large majority of them are choosing to get vaccinated,” says Sam Jarvis, Community Health Manager at Johnson County Public Health, ”So we wanted to signal to those who...might have a question still, or maybe waiting and seeing, that now is the time to get vaccinated.”

He says people across the county have worked hard to get to this point. “It’s no surprise that we have a large healthcare community, a large university community, so we have a lot of folks who are, one way or the other directly involved in healthcare, and some tangentially,” says Jarvis.

In some more rural counties, those numbers are lower. The CDC’s website says, in Van Buren County -- southeast Iowa along the Missouri state line -- 43.8% of adults have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

Republican Representative Jeff Shipley of Fairfield says he’s heard from people who say they’re waiting to get a vaccine until they have more answers to their questions. ”I think everyone is kind of going at their own pace and making their own decision based on their own environment in their own lived experiences. And we have to acknowledge that that’s very different for a lot of people,” says Shipley.

Jarvis says as vaccinations have slowed down in Johnson County, strategy is shifting to promotions and getting as many questions answered as possible. “We recognize that we may not be able to answer everyone’s questions right away, but for the most part there’s been so much information provided about COVID-19 vaccines that we wanna make sure we’re able to get that into the hands of everyone so they can make that decision to get vaccinated,” says Jarvis.

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