Iowa expands vaccinations to those 16+ starting Monday

Posted at 11:05 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 13:07:26-04

DES MOINES, Iowa. (KMTV) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds spoke Wednesday about the vaccination effort in the state.

She said 1.52 million doses have been administered to eligible Iowans 18 and older. Forty percent of Iowans 18 and older have received at least one dose while 85% of Iowans 65 and older have had at least one dose administered.

About 25% of the Iowa population has been fully vaccinated, Gov. Reynolds said.

The state is looking for ways to provide more clinics for minorities and refugees and have been working with faith-based organizations to do so.

Gov. Reynolds discussed a CDC trial in adolescents aged 12-15 that showed a 100% efficacy rate with the Pfizer vaccine. She mentioned that it’s promising news to keep schools open but more testing is needed for the vaccine to be authorized by the FDA for that age group.

On April 5, all eligible Iowans age 16 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine while those 18 and older can receive Moderna or Johnson & Johnson's vaccines.

Gov. Reynolds said although the vaccine supply is increasing, there still won’t be enough doses to vaccinate everyone immediately. She added it will take some time to work through the process and urged Iowans to be patient.

The federal government has expanded the Retail Pharmacy Program nationwide, which means the number of participating pharmacies with vaccines could be increasing by around 20,000. This could mean more vaccine locations in Iowa.

Additionally, Gov. Reynolds said the state plans to see a large increase of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state is starting to work with colleges to support the vaccination of students before leaving campus for the summer and ahead of the fall semester. Next week, a small allocation of vaccines will be given to some colleges in Iowa.

Some increase in positive COVID-19 cases has been reported in the state, likely due to spring break travel and circulating variants. Additionally, fewer people in Iowa are being tested for COVID-19 and those who are being tested are doing so because they are symptomatic.

Officials urged Iowans to continue following mitigation efforts to slow down the spread.

Hy-Vee and 2-1-1 Iowa are offering a community vaccination clinic in downtown Des Moines on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.

Those 65 and older or those 16 and older with at least one underlying health condition are eligible to make an appointment at the clinic by calling 2-1-1. After dialing 2-1-1, dialing number 9 will get callers help with scheduling at a nearby pharmacy.

Gov. Reynolds said she is confident that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have the chance to do so.

Watch her remarks below or on our Facebook page.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.