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COVID-19 vaccine rates trend up in Iowa and nationwide

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - More people are getting COVID-19 vaccines, with vaccination rates trending upward both locally and across the nation.

Roger Thompson, the operations director for eight pharmacies across Eastern Iowa, including Reutzel Pharmacy in Cedar Rapids, said he’s noticed more people coming in to get shots.

“A couple months ago we might have gotten one, one to three a day. And then some of our locations actually right now that we own are seeing an uptick of maybe around ten to fifteen a day,” Thompson said.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the seven-day average of daily doses has gone up in the last several weeks. While some of the daily doses are third shots for the immunocompromised, others are choosing to get vaccinated for the first time.

”Most recently we’ve been giving mostly first and second doses,” Thompson said.

Thompson pointed to several contributing factors in the shift. For one, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine last month. Most people who have been vaccinated to this point have received Pfizer. The spread of the Delta variant may be playing a role as well.

”I think that’s causing a lot of concern and why a lot more people are actually finally jumping on the bandwagon and getting vaccinated,” Thompson said.

In some cases, companies have started mandating vaccines for employment. Leaders at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids told us they’ve seen an 8% increase in staff members getting shots since they decided to mandate them.

Thompson said, for some, deciding to get the shot may have just come down to timing.

”A lot of the patients that are coming in requesting first doses, they’ve had friends, family, relatives that have gotten the vaccine,” Thompson said.

Thompson hopes the trend will continue moving forward.

”The vaccine is really the only thing that we have right now,” Thompson said.

Once third doses open up to more people, Thompson hopes to travel to business to help administer them. He is asking for businesses to contact him through email to coordinate that effort.

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