Over 9,000 doses of the COVD-19 vaccine given in Johnson County

Public health officials expect to continue vaccinating health care workers and long-term care facility residents through the spring.


Jeff Sigmund

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine vial is seen on Tuesday, Dec.22, 2020 at the Iowa City VA Health Care System’s hospital.

Rylee Wilson, News Editor

Over 9,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed in Johnson County since the doses were first given on Dec. 14, though Johnson County Public Health Officials say it could be months before the county moves beyond vaccinating health care workers and long-term care facility residents. 

A Jan. 8 press release from Johnson County Public Health said all of those who have received the vaccine so far in the county are health care workers or long-term care facility residents. 

“Johnson County residents are fortunate to have many health care, long-term care and assisted living center options,” the release stated. “However, this also means there are many people waiting to be vaccinated in the first vaccination phase. Other counties may move through phases faster than Johnson County because they have fewer health care workers to vaccinate.” 

Sam Jarvis, community health manager for Johnson County Public Health, said in the release that vaccines are arriving slowly in the state and the county. 

Phase 1A includes long-term care facility residents and health care workers. The next phase, which Iowa Department of Public Health officials said will begin Feb. 1, includes adults older than 75 and essential workers such as police, PK-12 teachers, and firefighters, and prison staff and inmates. 

“This means we are expecting to be in Phase 1A throughout the spring. So those who are anticipated to be included in 1B, the next phase (older adults/essential workers), will not start to be vaccinated for several more months,” Jarvis said.

College students can expect the vaccine even later. College dormitories will not be included in the Phase 1B, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

According to a report from the Iowa Department of Public Health, as of Jan. 11, 9,411 Johnson County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 844 have received the completed sequence. 

Statewide, 96,686 doses of the vaccine have been distributed. 5,652 individuals have received both doses of the vaccine. 

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine require two doses to be effective.

Johnson County had the second-highest number of vaccines distributed in the state, behind Polk County, which had 12,656 doses distributed.