Thursday, May 27, 2021

Vast majority of Iowa counties are now refusing new COVID vaccine doses

(Radio Iowa) - Of Iowa's 99 counties, state health officials say 81 of them accepted no new COVID-19 vaccine allotments from the federal government this week. Greene County was among them, where health department director Becky Wolf says about 40% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated. Despite targeting groups like those who are homeless and Spanish-speakers, Wolf says that number hasn't budged for two weeks.

Wolf says, "There's still people out there that, unfortunately are, are basing their decision to get vaccinated on inaccurate information."

With dropping demand for the vaccine, state health officials say only 12% of the state's allotment was accepted this week, or about 8,000 doses. Polk County health department spokesperson Nola Aigner-Davis says county officials have been taking a more targeted approach to try to increase vaccination rates.

[mkvax1] "We continue to work really heavily with some of our communities whose English may not be their first language and to address any cultural, medical or religious barriers," Aigner-Davis says. "We're doing this a lot in our ethnic-based community organizations."

Only 17 of the state’s 99 counties accepted part of their allocation this week, while just one - Calhoun County - accepted its entire allocation. According to the New York Times, 43% of Iowa’s total population is fully vaccinated, ranking 16th in the nation. The state's coronavirus website shows 1.3 million Iowans are fully vaccinated.

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