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COVID vaccine rolls out to Iowans 65+

Feb. 1 starts Phase 1B of coronavirus vaccine rollout

By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Jan 25, 2021

The next phase of Iowa’s COVID-19 vaccination

plan launches in one week, Feb 1, 2021.

Governor Kim Reynolds said in a Thursday press

conference that Iowans age 65 and up will be part of

the next phase to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Reynolds said the state is receiving relatively few

COVID-19 vaccines but is getting the doses out quickly.

Iowa is only receiving about 19,500 doses per week.

Reynolds said Iowa ranks 46th nationally in doses allocated

but ranks 15th in administering the doses. Iowa

ranks 30th in the U.S. for population.

Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout is administered among

populations in five tiers, illustrated in the graphic created

by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

“As soon as our weekly vaccine allocation is received,

it’s going out the door and into the arms of

Iowans across the state,” Reynolds said. “We’ve now

received more than 160,000 doses of vaccine and have

administered more than 106,000 of them primarily to

Iowa’s health care workforce.

Despite delays in receiving vaccine, the state is prepared for the next phase of vaccine administration.

“So, beginning February, Iowans age 65 and older will be eligible for vaccination. And this accounts for more than 500,000,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said in the next phase, law enforcement and first responders, pre-K-12 teachers and staff, early childhood educators and child care workers can begin vaccination at local pharmacies or clinics. That accounts for approximately 130,000 Iowans.

“While we’re excited to begin vaccinating a broader population of Iowans, I want to emphasize that the demand for the vaccine will vastly exceed our supply,” Reynolds said. “With our current allocation from the federal government at 39,000 per week beginning Feb. 9, this process is just going to take time. Each subsequent tier will be phased in as soon as possible according to the availability of the vaccines and where they’re at throughout the state.”

Reynolds said tier two of vaccine administration will include front-line essential workers and individuals with disabilities living at home in a home setting. That accounts for approximately 600,000 individuals, Reynolds said.

Tier three includes staff and individuals in congregate settings and also government officials and staff at the state capitol, Reynolds said. That accounts for nearly approximately 13,000.

Reynolds said tier four includes 1,500 inspectors responsible for health, life and safety, and tier five consists of approximately 13,000 staff and incarcerated individuals in correctional facilities.

Reynolds said a new dashboard will be added to coronavirus.iowa.gov website starting this week to provide more data on vaccinations.