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Iowa Department of Health says limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines available for Phase 1B


COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine
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The Iowa Department of Public Health has stated that the supply of vaccine will be very limited as Phase 1B begins.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced changes to the priority population for receiving a Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccination.

These changes included extending the eligibility age to 65 years and older and placed the priority populations who are vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness in order of priority.

These populations are organized into tiers and those 65 years and older are eligible throughout the entire portion of Phase 1B and going forward.

“While Phase 1B is expected to begin on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, please understand when local public health is allocated doses in the hundreds or low thousands, completing vaccination of everyone in Phase 1A and those included in Phase 1B will take weeks to months,” said Sam Jarvis, Community Health Manager for Johnson County Public Health (JCPH).

As of Feb. 1, persons 65 and older will start to receive vaccine from JCPH’s hospital partners, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and Mercy Iowa City. UIHC and Mercy Iowa City will proactively reach out to a very limited amount of people who are eligible patients.

There are no walk-ins available. Those residents 65 and older, or their loved ones, should not contact these hospitals, other health care providers, pharmacies or JCPH to ask for the vaccine.

A high volume of calls makes it more difficult to address patients and others with immediate needs.

At this time, there is no public sign-up for individuals. UIHC and Mercy Iowa City are currently contacting patients directly.

Those working in occupations identified in Tier 1 for Phase 1B (PreK-12 staff members, child care workers, firefighters, police officers and child welfare social workers) will be directed to specific COVID-19 vaccine provider pharmacies.

If you work in these occupations, closely monitor communication from your employer and JCPH.

Those in Tier 1 Phase 1B should not call pharmacies unless instructed to do so by Johnson County Public Health or their employer.

JCPH continues to coordinate with local hospitals, pharmacies, and other COVID-19 vaccine provider partners that will be providing vaccine to the priority populations as recommended by the state’s Infectious Disease Advisory Council and by order of the state’s vaccine shortage order.

This process is due to the limited vaccine supply available, the large amount of population that is eligible, and the goal to ensure that doses are utilized for those who are eligible and not wasted.

As supply increases, more opportunities for vaccination will occur.

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Everyone should continue taking protective measures, regardless of being vaccinated, to limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay six feet away from others at all times.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Recognize that older people and those with chronic health conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart issues, and organ transplants have a much higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.


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