CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – County health departments across the state of Iowa were not given much notice by state leaders about making all Iowans eligible for the vaccine by April 5th.
Governor Reynolds made the announcement on Wednesday morning. She said vaccine allotments were going to increase substantially with the addition of the Johnson and Johnson brand.
“It caused our team to pause our planning because we were not aware of this until the governor announced,” said Amy Rose Corrigan, the Dubuque Public Health Specialist.
Corrigan said they were learning about the news of expanded vaccines like everyone else, through the Governor’s briefings. She said they still have 5,000 people ages 65 and older to vaccinate and an unknown number of people 16 to 64 with underlying conditions.
“We want to work hard on making the vaccine available,” she said.
While she and many departments were given short notice, Sam Jarvis, the Johnson County Health Department Community Health Manager, said they were going to wait to see just how many vaccines get allocated to them and arrive.
“Until the day of delivery of the vaccines to our partners or ourselves, we don’t know,” he said. “We certainly have seen delays with weather and other things like that.”
Jarvis said if all those allocations come in, as expected, and people fill the slots for shots, Jarvis said his focus would go towards people who were skeptical to get the vaccine.
“We want to have those conversations,” he said. “We hope they have those conversations with their health providers.”
He said it wasn’t known if the COVID-19 vaccine would be like the flu-vaccine where people need to get it each year.
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