Iowa prepares for rollout of third COVID-19 vaccine

By: 
Travis Fischer

Governor Kim Reynolds announced essential workers and individuals with disabilities may soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, the state is prioritizing first responders and child care workers for COVID vaccination, along with all Iowans age 65 and up. While it will still take some time to get the senior population completely vaccinated, the child care workers and first responders are progressing enough that the state may soon move on to the next step.

Those eligible that haven’t already received their vaccine do not need to worry about being skipped, though.

“Once a group becomes eligible, they remain eligible. There isn’t a cutoff date for the population,” said Reynolds during her press conference on Thursday, February 25.

Reynolds also announced that the federal government is again increasing Iowa’s allocation of vaccine and is anticipating the release of Johnson & Johnson’s upcoming one-shot vaccine, which recently received emergency FDA approval.

“Plans are already underway to distribute it nationwide as soon as possible,” said Reynolds.

Nationwide, two million doses of the new vaccine are expected to be prepared right away, with 20 million by the end of March and 100 million by the end of June.

According to Reynolds, Iowa will be sent 25,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine this week as part of their initial allotment. This will increase Iowa’s weekly allotment to 91,100 total for the week.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that the progress we’re seeing now will only continue, and I appreciate the partnership of the federal government to make this possible,” said Reynolds.

The state of Iowa administered 119,464 doses of vaccine in the last week, totaling 705,151 doses of vaccine to 679,016 residents. This includes 395,883 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 309,268 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

An additional 32,825 individuals completed their vaccinations last week, bringing the total to 178,875.

As of Sunday, February 28, there have been 336,456 individuals positive with COVID-19 in the state, increasing the 332,711 total from the week prior by 3,745. This is a slight uptick in new cases from the previous week.

Iowa crossed the four million milestone for testing last week, with a total of 4,052,776 tests performed on 1,558,913 Iowans since the pandemic began, including 2,708,741 PCR tests and 1,344,035 antigen tests. In the last week, the state has processed 49,966 PCR tests and 46,665 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, 10% of new cases have been among the elderly (age 80+), 15% among older adults (60-79); 28% among middle aged adults (40-59); 44% among young adults (18-39); and 4% among children.

Hospitalizations have dropped below 200 for the first time since last summer, with 197 hospitalized as of Sunday, down 25 from the week prior, and 48 in an ICU.

However, the number of positive serology tests continue to increase. 111,979 Iowans have undergone serology testing for coronavirus antibodies, which would indicate that they have had the virus. Of that number, 18,559, about 17%, have tested positive for antibodies.

Of the 1,716 individuals tested in the last week, 1,211 of them (70%) have tested positive.

An additional 135 deaths were reported last week, bringing the statewide total to 5,471.

In total, approximately 3,234 elderly (59.11%); 1,869 older adults (34.16%), 322 middle aged adults (5.89%), 44 young adults (.8%), and at least one child (.04%) have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

In long term care facilities, 28 new deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 2,139.

The number of facilities reporting outbreaks dropped slightly with 19 now considered to be in outbreak status, down two from the week prior. These facilities have 519 positive cases among residents and staff with 364 considered recovered.

 

Category:

The Buffalo Center Tribune

The Buffalo Center Tribune
PO Box 367
Buffalo Center, IA 50424

Phone: 641-562-2606
Fax: 1-800-340-0805
Email: bctrib@wctatel.net

Mid-America Publishing

This newspaper is part of the Mid-America Publishing Family. Please visit www.midampublishing.com for more information.