IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.
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Yesterday at her press Conference Governor Reynolds said, this week she’s had the chance to reflect the last year, and the pandemic’s effects on everyone’s lives, as well as on the deaths and sadness families have had to endure. She also spoke about the progress we have made since the initial uncertainty last March. Within two months we launched Test Iowa to provide testing to any Iowan who wants it. More than 1 in 3 Iowans chose Test Iowa for testing needs.
Now three vaccines are approved. This week, one year from our first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Iowa, we’re on track to vaccinate the 1 millionth Iowan, she said. As of yesterday, the CDC reported more than 952,000 does are administered, and 27 percent of the population of the state (10th in the nation) has had their first dose. 298,000 2nd doses which means 13 percent of Iowans are fully vaccinated—that makes us 27th in the nation.
70 percent of first responders, child care providers and K-12 teachers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 90 percent of the long-term care residents will have a second dose by the end of the month, she said.
Almost 94 percent of Iowans 65 and older have been vaccinated. For some, they still have scheduling barriers. Iowans 65 and up can call 211 to speak to a vaccine coordinator to help them schedule an appointment at Hy-Vee. The program just started yesterday and had 1,600 calls on day one and scheduled more that 1,100 appointments. Due to the high volume, clinics will be set up. Translation services are available.
They received the first shipment of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single dose vaccine last week and immediately deployed 25,600 doses for essential workers for critical supply chains, Including food processing, egg production, and manufacturing facilities across Iowa. The first week of employer vaccination clinics is complete, where they covered 51 food processing plants in 17 counties, covering more than 18,400 workers. Over the next five weeks they plan to vaccinate 160,000 employees across the state.
J&J vaccine supply will fluctuate over the next several weeks. With minimal amounts being allocated Iowa may receive at least 4,000 doses, and then next week they’ll restart vaccination clinics across the state. Many employers have arranged vaccinations clinics with local providers and Hy-Vees. The vaccine dashboard will also start to reflect the J&J vaccine administration.
As vaccine allocations ramp up, they expanded eligibility to those 16-64 with preexisting conditions. Expanding eligibility was also necessary because many counties were reaching the next eligibility tier. We want to help counties keep pace, she said.
The Governor was asked, why not open vaccinations to everyone, when there’s no requirement to prove you are in a group that is eligible? We have a good process in place and we’ll take that next step when we can, she said. Every day we’re evaluating that. It’s based on the allocations we can get, she said. There is not stability in allocations now. They will know more next week after their White House call. With the partnership with Merck they will increase supplies significantly by the end of June but we’re not there yet, she said. They’re projecting with the J&J, Pfizer and Moderna, they think it will quickly shift, and the Biden Administration expects that by mid-May anyone who wants one should be able to get one. April will be a big month, she said.
They will notify Iowans through a press conference when the next tier opens up. She said it is ok for Iowans to go to neighboring counties to get vaccinated.
The Governor visited two vaccination clinics last week. Vermeer spoke about its vaccination clinic efforts for its employees and the community. They encouraged other corporations to stand up mass vaccination clinics, as they have done, and are willing to share their knowledge.
She also spoke about a new child care effort and the impact of the pandemic on the already existing shortage of childcare. Her Economic Recovery Committee recommended establishing a childcare task force, and she announced the task force will be chaired by Emily Schmitt of Sukup Manufacturing Company.
The overall number of vaccines administered is 963,787 an increase of 47,427 since yesterday, with 329,613 receiving their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 305,794 receiving their second dose. 22,537 have received the one-dose J&J vaccine.
To find vaccine providers in your county, click here or scroll to the bottom of the vaccine dashboard. If you need a vaccine appointment, vaccinate.iowa.gov has launched to help connect Iowans eligible for the vaccine with providers. Iowans 65 and older who have not yet gotten an appointment can call 211 for assistance. For vaccine eligibility information and timelines click here. For new vaccine allocation data overall and by county, click here.
Currently, on the state’s coronavirus dashboard 369,094 positive tests were reported, up 464 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 4,202,242 tests.
27 additional deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 5,601 deaths.
The total 14 day rolling average positivity rate is 3.9% the past 7-day average is 4.0%.
The latest on hospitalizations, can be found here. There are currently 166 hospitalized patients—down 7 since yesterday-- with 42 in the ICU, and 29 admitted in the last 24 hours.
Total Cases 28,992,598
Total Deaths 526,213
Total Vaccination Doses Administered 95,721,290
Total Cases 118,129,308
Total Deaths 2,621,986