Iowa crosses million dose milestone for vaccines

By: 
Travis Fischer

Iowa’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccine continues to move forward as the state opens eligibility for more people to receive the vaccine.

“As vaccine production continues to ramp up, and the White House projects weekly vaccine allocations to increase in the immediate weeks ahead, we’ve been able to further expand eligibility to include individuals aged 16-64 with pre-existing health conditions,” said Governor Kim Reynolds during her regular press conference on Wednesday, March 10.

With some counties nearly finished inoculating their current tier of eligible residents, the state is expanding eligibility to make sure that public health workers aren’t waiting unnecessarily to use their allotment.

For Iowans over 65 that have had difficulty scheduling an appointment, the state has established a specific program of vaccine navigators through the 211 information line.

“The program just started yesterday and in the first day alone 211 received 1,600 calls and scheduled more than 1,100 appointments for Iowans that hadn’t been able to get one yet,” said Reynolds.

With the introduction of a third vaccine to the mix, the state is accelerating the distribution to Iowa’s workforce. Due to the ease of storage and the fact that it only requires one shot, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is being sent out to large manufacturers and food processing plants. So far, 51 plants in 17 counties have vaccinated more than 18,000 workers out of the initial allotment of J&J vaccine.

“Our plan is to vaccinate nearly 160,000 employees who work or live in congregate settings over the course of the next five weeks,” said Reynolds.

The State of Iowa crossed the one million dose milestone last week, administering 212,885 doses of vaccine to 1,062,843 residents. This includes 499,838 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 576,162 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 29,680 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

379,321 individuals have completed their two-dose vaccination series, bringing the total number of inoculated to 408,914.

As of Sunday, March 14, there have been 342,885 individuals positive with COVID-19 in the state, increasing the 339,670 total from the week prior by 3,215, a nearly identical number to the number of new cases from the previous week.

The state has performed a total of 4,243,043 tests on 1,597,230 individuals since the pandemic began, including 2,805,999 PCR tests and 1,437,044 antigen tests. In the last week, the state has processed 50,140 PCR tests and 46,673 antigen tests.

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

In the last week, 8% of new cases have been among the elderly (age 80+), 16% among older adults (60-79); 29% among middle aged adults (40-59); 43% among young adults (18-39); and 5% among children.

115,232 Iowans have undergone serology testing for coronavirus antibodies, which would indicate that they have had the virus. Of that number, 20,696, about 18%, have tested positive for antibodies.

Of the 1,435 individuals tested in the last week, 996 of them (69%) have tested positive.

Hospitalizations are on a slow decline this week, with 161 hospitalized as of Sunday, down just seven from the week prior, and 42 in an ICU.

Likewise, the last week saw slightly fewer reported deaths, with an additional 83 deaths bringing the statewide total to 5,641.

In total, approximately 3,315 elderly (58.77%); 1,945 older adults (34.48%), 334 middle aged adults (5.93%), 45 young adults (.8%), and at least one child (.04%) have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

In long term care facilities, 25 new deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 2,218.

However, the state is getting very close to having no reported outbreaks among their long term care facilities. Only two facilities are considered to be in outbreak status, down eight from the week prior. These facilities have 18 positive cases among residents and staff with 12 considered recovered.

 

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