Friday, April 23, 2021

State website shows 'almost half' of Iowa adults have had two-dose series of Covid shots

(Radio Iowa) - The state website tracking Covid-19 vaccinations shows more than 911,000 Iowans have had both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

"We are very, very close to having nearly half of the adult population vaccinated, fully, in the two-dose series, so that is incredible news for the state."

That's Iowa Department of Public Health acting director Kelly Garcia. The number of Iowans who've gotten a Covid shot has now surpassed the percentage of Iowans who typically get the seasonal flu shot. Garcia says it's likely because Iowans are considering the higher mortality rate among those who contract Covid.

"The vaccine remains the most powerful tool to turn the page on this pandemic," Garcia says.

Garcia spoke Thursday morning during an hour-long call-in session with AARP members. The state website tracking Covid-related data shows just one Iowa nursing home has a Covid outbreak as of Thursday. In early December, before the vaccines were available, there were outbreaks at 167 Iowa nursing homes. Garcia says the turn-around is because an unprecedented percentage of nursing home residents have been vaccinated.

"That is the contributing factor to our low outbreak numbers and so we need to keep it there, make sure that we're really focusing on new admissions and on staff who come and go out of the facility," Garcia says. "That work is absolutely in place and it will be in place for the long term."

State officials say nearly 88,000 Iowans got the one-dose Johnson and Johnson shot. Tomorrow, federal officials are expected to address the pause in giving Johnson and Johnson shots. European officials have resumed Johnson and Johnson vaccinations, with a warning about a possible link to side effects -- along with advice that the vaccine's benefits far outweigh the risk.

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