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Crossing the border to get vaccinated

Can you get vaccinated in a state where you are not a resident?
Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 19:38:20-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. (KMTV) - The Iowa Department of Public Health said anyone who is eligible can get their COVID-19 vaccine regardless of their residence.

Matt Wyant with Pottawattamie County Public Health said the Department has vaccinated Nebraskans who were members of the essential workforce, but he's also turned a handful down.

"The state of Iowa is still allocating vaccines to us based on our population rates, it's a per capita basis is how we receive our vaccine and so we can't really open the doors to everyone around us when that's a limited amount of vaccine, we still need to get quite a few of our residents," Wyant said.

According to the state's vaccine information page, more than a million doses have been administered to Iowa residents. Approximately 43,000 have been administered to people from out-of-state.

Janet Hill lives and works in Illinois. Her job is with Rock Island County Health and her husband got his vaccine in Iowa, where he works.

"It just was something that was more convenient for him during his workday," Hill said.

While vaccine availability differs from state to state, Hill opposes the idea of "vaccine tourism." It's the idea that people can visit another state to get a vaccine, which is not available at home.

"I've talked to several people from Chicago who have come down to get it and there are a lot of people coming from Iowa who are not living or working in our jurisdiction," Hill said.

Hill wants to stress the importance of integrity when signing up to get a vaccine.

"There is an honor system and I hope people will understand each state has their own process and they really should be adhering to the state in which they live," Hill said.

Nebraska does not allow people who live outside the state to get the vaccine.

Pottawattamie County Public Health said the vaccine supply is still limited. Next week it will only receive one allotment of the Pfizer vaccine, which is 1170 doses. Some area pharmacies received their federal allotments.

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