Southeast Iowa reporting lowest levels of COVID-19 vaccination in the state

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:56 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - 47% of Iowans are vaccinated across the state, but many counties in southeast Iowa have vaccinated a much lower percentage of their population.

The southeast region has a lower vaccination rate than any other region across the state, which experts said will increase the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak. Davis, Decatur, Keokuk, Mahaska, Lucas, Monore, Wayne, Appanoose, Van Buren, Jefferson, Des Moines, and Lee Counties all have vaccination rates below 40%.

Percent Fully Vaccinated by Recipient County of Residence
Percent Fully Vaccinated by Recipient County of Residence(None)

Chris Estle, who is the administrator for Jefferson County Public Health, said the biggest barriers she faces towards getting people vaccinated are disinformation and conspiracy theories. She said she doesn’t think the number of people vaccinated in her county will increase.

“I don’t know that we are going to increase those numbers of people who are receiving the vaccine,” Estle said. “I don’t know what else we could do.”

Melanie Wellington, who is an associate hospital epidemiologist at the University of Iowa, said these low vaccination levels will increase the likelihood COVID-19 will spread in southeast Iowa. She said this will be even more important because the delta variant is even more contagious.

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