DES MOINES, Iowa. (KMTV) — Vaccine efforts have slowed in Iowa partly due to the fact that supply now outweighs demand in many areas.
According to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, 43 counties in Iowa have declined more COVID-19 vaccines.
Despite this slowing vaccination effort and possibly prolonging the pandemic, Gov. Reynolds said this is the responsible choice for pharmacies to not waste vaccines.
Gov. Reynolds added that 37% of adults in Iowa have been fully vaccinated. She said the state still has a ways to go until there is a comfortable level of herd immunity.
The big question now is if the state will reach that number as vaccine efforts have dramatically slowed.
Reynolds says this is partly due to vaccine hesitancy after the FDA and CDC decided to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Iowa National Guard Major General Ben Corell used his own personal journey with the virus to urge people to get the vaccine.
“The next day my oxygen levels were so low. She gave me the choice, either get in the car and go to the emergency room or I'm calling you an ambulance. I got in the car and she took me to the emergency room. They quickly admitted me to the hospital where I stayed a whole week receiving medical treatment from the staff at Unity Point Health validating to me that our medical professionals have truly been our front-line heroes in this fight,” said Geb. Corell.
Gen. Corell added the after-effects of the virus still exist five months after testing positive. He said he has learned to live with ongoing lung issues and fatigue.
He added the vaccine is the tool to protect you and end this pandemic.
We asked the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services if a similar theme was taking place here in Nebraska.
DHHS sent over a report stating 10 health districts have asked for a pause on new vaccines in an effort to manage current inventory.
A New York Times analysis shows vaccination rates were lower in counties that voted Republican in the 2020 Presidential Election.
An Associated Press survey found 36% of Republicans said they will probably of definitely not get vaccinated.
When asked about these findings, Governor Reynolds urged all Iowans questioning the vaccine to think twice, schedule an appointment and get vaccinated.