DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa public health officials say they have identified a third coronavirus variant in Iowa that was first identified in India, where the official count of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed 20 million.
The Iowa Department of Public Health says Tuesday it has confirmed two cases of the variant in Jefferson County in southeast Iowa.
The agency says strains first found in Europe and Brazil are also circulating in Iowa and recommends Iowans get vaccinated to help prevent virus spread.
Interest in vaccination has slowed in Iowa, prompting the state to turn down 71% of the COVID-19 vaccine supply it could have received for next week. Nearly 36% of the population in Iowa is fully vaccinated, placing the state 14th in the nation.