Thursday, March 18, 2021

Governor says starting April 5, all Iowans likely to be eligible to schedule Covid shots

(Radio Iowa) - Governor Kim Reynolds says projections indicate there will soon be a “significant” increase in the amount of Covid vaccine the federal government ships to Iowa.

“Today, I’m announcing that all Iowans will be eligible for vaccinations starting Monday, April 5, as long as the vaccine allocation increases as we’ve been told and as we are expecting,” Reynolds announced today during a news conference.

There are about 2.1 million adults in Iowa. More than 413,000 of them are fully vaccinated today, according to the state website tracking how many shots of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been given.

“If we’re able to ramp up in a the manner we’re projecting — and we’re ready to go — it’ll be good news for Iowans,” Reynolds told reporters.

The Centers for Disease Control indicates 95% of Iowans over the age of 65 have had at least one dose of Covid vaccine. Twenty-eight percent of Iowans between the ages of 18 and 65 have had at least one shot. Reynolds said vaccine supply is expected to ramp up at the end of March and there’ll be another increase in the first week of April.

“We’re going to be ready to go,” Reynolds said. “I feel very confident in saying that.”

The governor said some mass vaccination clinics have already been held around the state to give hundreds of shots. HyVee is scheduling 400 more shots in the Des Moines area and 240 more in Cedar Rapids than originally planned.

“Iowans have demonstrated our ability to work together and ensure vaccine is administered efficiently and responsibly,” Reynolds said. “I’m confident that we’re prepared to open up even more.”

Nearly 30,000 Iowans who work in meat packing, food processing or manufacturing plants have received the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Reynolds indicated some of the businesses in this category are helping employees get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead.

“To date, nearly 50,000 of the approximately 160,000 workers in that cohort have now had the opportunity to be vaccinated,” Reynolds said. “Initially, we had projected it would take five weeks to vaccine this entire population. However, with the number of employers taking the initiative to schedule clinics with other providers, we really could complete this phase of vaccination even sooner.”

A computer glitch that prevented Iowans who are administering Covid shots from registering that information in a statewide database has been fixed. Iowa and several other states were affected by the hardware problem that popped up on Tuesday.

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