Reynolds backs away from centralized vaccine scheduling system

By: 
Travis Fischer

Governor Kim Reynolds explained the decision to not move forward with a centralized scheduling system for COVID-19 vaccines during last week’s press conference.

Previously, the state had been looking at entering into a contract with Microsoft to create a statewide system for matching Iowans up with local vaccine providers. However, it was decided shortly after that the state would be backing away from that idea and leaving scheduling logistics to the individual counties.

“It quickly became apparent that integrating the many already existing registration and scheduling platforms that are used by public health departments, pharmacies, as well as other vaccine providers, it would not be possible in a timely manner without a significant disruption to the current systems,” said Reynolds. “We know that barriers still remain for Iowans who are currently eligible, and we’re actively determining how we can leverage existing partnerships to provide an easier alternative to online scheduling.”

Meanwhile, reporting on a call from the White House, Reynolds said that the federal government has added 2.5 million doses to the 11 million already distributed weekly.

“In Iowa, that means our allocation of 49,900 this week will be almost 62,000 doses next week, which is an increase of 24 percent,” said Reynolds.

The governor also noted that the White House is anticipating emergency approval for Johnson & Johnson’s version of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of the month.

The State of Iowa administered 108,464 doses of vaccine in the last week, totaling 585,961 doses of vaccine to 563,487 residents. This includes a total of 339,807 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 246,154 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

An additional 24,256 individuals completed their vaccinations last week, bringing the total to 146,050.

As of Sunday, February 21, there have been 332,711 confirmed individuals positive with COVID-19 in the state, increasing the total from the 329,257 total from the week prior by 3,454.

The state no longer tracks the number of individuals tested as a total but does continue to track the individual results from PCR and antigen testing.

A total of 3,956,125 tests have now been performed on 1,539,424 individual Iowans since the pandemic began, including 2,658,775 PCR tests and 1,297,370 antigen tests. In the last week, the state has processed 59,783 PCR tests and 52,924 antigen tests.

The state has also stopped reporting on the number of individuals considered recovered, making it impossible to know the current number of active cases.

In the last week, 5% of new cases have been among the elderly (age 80+), 14% among older adults (60-79), 25% among middle aged adults (40-59), 21% among young adults (18-39), and 25% among children.

Hospitalizations are down slightly this week, with 222 patients hospitalized as of Sunday, down 20 from the week prior, with 54 in an ICU.

The number of positive serology tests continues to climb, however. 110,263 Iowans have undergone serology testing for coronavirus antibodies, which would indicate that they have had the virus. Of that number 17,348, about 16%, have tested positive for antibodies.

Of the 3,235 individual tests in the last week, 1,149 of them (35%) have tested positive.

An additional 100 deaths were reported last week, bringing the statewide total to 5,336.

In total, approximately 3,167 elderly (59.37%); 1,813 older adults (33.99%), 309 middle aged adults (5.79%), 43 young adults (.81%), and at least one child (.04%) have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

In long term care facilities, only seven new deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 2,139.

The number of facilities reporting outbreaks is still dropping with 21 now considered to be in outbreak status, down 14 from the week prior. These facilities have 602 positive cases among residents and staff with 401 considered recovered.

 

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