Gov. Kim Reynolds announces Iowa could see thousands of COVID-19 vaccines in the next month

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services Kelly Garcia said Iowa can expect to see 172,000 COVID-19 vaccines in the next 30 days.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds gives the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Julia Shanahan, Politics Editor

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a press conference Thursday that Iowa could see 172,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the next 30 days.

The first round of vaccines being administered to Iowans will be from Pfizer and Moderna, both have about a 95 percent efficacy rate. The first shipments of vaccines will arrive in Iowa on Dec. 13, and Reynolds said that staff and residents in long-term care facilities will be the first group of Iowans to receive the vaccine.

Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services Kelly Garcia said that 172,000 Iowans would be able to receive the vaccine, and that another shipment of vaccines to administer the second doses would come in that time frame.

Garcia said that by mid-2021, any Iowan who wants a vaccine can expect to have one. Until then, she said the state will be following Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on which populations should receive the vaccines first.

Reynolds said Iowa opted into a partnership between the federal government and national pharmacies to help administer the vaccine. Because many long-term care facilities in Iowa are at capacity with staff and residents, this partnership will provide the state with additional workers to help deliver and administer the vaccines.

Garcia said that there are many subgroups of populations who will be among the first to receive the vaccine, like state government workers and corrections officers. Garcia said there will be a gradual “ramp up” in allowing additional populations to receive vaccines.

Vaccines will first be delivered to six long-term care facilities in more densely populated areas. Garcia said they will not be releasing any specific information on which facilities are receiving the vaccine for security reasons.

The vaccine is currently not approved for children, and Reynolds said children will not be required to receive the vaccine in order to attend school.

Both Garcia and Reynolds said all vaccine information is subject to change.

University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Dean Brooks Jackson attended the press conference virtually to assure Iowans the vaccine will be safe.

Jackson said Carver College was one of the study sites for the Pfizer vaccine trials, and that efficacy and safety data is very reassuring.

“I encourage Iowans to get the vaccine when it becomes available, until then we must continue to protect ourselves,” Jackson said.


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