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What does the vaccine supply look like for kids in Iowa?

Iowa pharmacies and clinics are now giving the Pfizer vaccine to kids as young as 12.
Posted at 6:55 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 19:55:53-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Some pharmacies and public health departments say the Pfizer vaccine supply is unlimited.

Christina Gayman, the director of Public Relations for Hy-Vee has no concerns with vaccinating kids and adolescents. The retail chain is a federal pharmacy partner with the CDC so the shipments go directly to them.

"This rollout has been a lot of demand at the beginning and very limited supply, starting to even out," Gayman said. "Things are a little bit more equitable when it comes to how many vaccines we have and the number of people who want it which is nice because people don't have to wait so long to receive their vaccine."

Michael Schweitzer is a pharmacist in Bedford, Iowa whose pharmacy also has an unlimited supply. He owns Bedford Drug which has given more than a thousand doses in a town of 1,500 people.

Still, he estimates they've vaccinated less than 100 people under the age of 40.

"To be perfectly honest a lot of the under-40 population see themselves as strong and healthy, and don't understand that that really doesn't make any difference," Schweitzer said. "We see healthy people that come down with COVID and that's not a very good indicator."

Schweitzer noticed there's a lot of misinformation about vaccine safety. He says there's still the idea the shot is experimental even though millions of doses have been distributed already.

"As the cases continue to exist out here, we have a strong chance there might be variants that come that may be more damaging than the ones we have right now," Schweitzer said. "Also we're trying to protect people with poor immune systems, trying to protect people under 12 that aren't eligible for the vaccine."

Beth Olsen with Cass County Public Health insists that the sooner your kid gets vaccinated, the sooner "normal" can become possible.

"This is going to help get our society and our communities back on track, help make school and school events a bit more normal and I think we're all ready for normalcy," Olsen said.

A Pottawattamie County Public Health official tells 3 News Now the department has more than 5,000 Pfizer doses coming in each week. If you still have questions about whether or not you should vaccinate your kids, the county encourages you to reach out to your child's pediatrician.

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