Second COVID-19 state vaccine supply bump expected

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Many allocations of COVID-19 vaccine across the state will see yet another bump in supply, according to Gov. Kim Reynolds. The increase in shipments from the federal level was expected as soon as the Valentine's Day weekend, the governor said during last week's press conference, and comes after her announcement last month that state allocations would see a 16-percent boost for at least three weeks. The most recent influx could result in just shy of 50,000 doses of vaccine for Iowa, according to the governor, but local officials say that may translate to just hundreds on the local level.

Dickinson County Public Health Director Katy Burke said the previous 16-percent uptick would result in about 232 more doses for the local populace. Burke confirmed Friday that local health officials had received 300 doses of the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Moderna. The local office usually receives about 200 doses.

"We certainly hope we receive an increasing amount of doses each week," Burke said. "We are currently set to receive 300 weekly doses through the month of February. We may see increases of the Pfizer vaccine as the long-term care pharmacy partnerships are completed, and pharmacies like Hy-Vee are also receiving allocations within our county."

Burke went on to say, to her office's understanding, at least 10,000 doses of vaccine have been set aside statewide for local distribution sites. The state coronavirus website previously reported the Spirit Lake Hy-Vee, its affiliated pharmacy in Milford, Lewis Family Drug in Spirit Lake and the Spirit Lake Walmart were possible sites in Dickinson County the site only listed Lewis Family Drug as of Tuesday, Burke said the Spirit Lake Hy-Vee received about 200 doses of vaccine last week.

Local health providers have been urging the public in Dickinson County to complete an online questionnaire on the Lakes Regional Healthcare website to help stratify vaccine doses high risk and essential populations ranking higher in the cue. More than 3,200 people have completed the questionnaire so far, Burke said, and the hospital said about 100 people do so each day. Even with several locations potentially offering vaccinations, Burke said local residents should still complete the questionnaire to give themselves multiple options.

"Completing the questionnaire still would allow us to reach out to them when they are able to receive the vaccine from us," Burke said. "If we find out they had already received it, that would be fine and we would move on to the next person."

Gov. Reynolds said vaccinations at hundreds of the state's long-term care facilities are expected to be complete soon. Vaccinations in the facilities are being done through a partnership program with pharmacy chains, and Reynolds said unused vaccines from the program may add another 56,000 doses to the state's supply. The vaccines used in the pharmacy partnerships are largely those developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, according to Burke. The Moderna vaccines the local public health office has been receiving are shipped in increments of 100, she said, but the Pfizer vaccine is distributed in increments of nearly 1,000 which she noted would allow more of the local population to be vaccinated against the virus.

About 1,886 doses of vaccine had been given in Dickinson County as of Friday 540 individuals having completed the two-dose regimen a Friday report from local health officials said. No new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the latest count. The number still stood at 39. The county has only recorded one such death so far this month. Lakes Regional Healthcare said Friday's report marked the second consecutive week the hospital had no inpatients who were positive for COVID-19.

However, Dickinson County's active cases of COVID-19 increased by 10 and now total about 45 according to the report. The county's all-time reported hight was 247 in late November.

Dickinson County's rolling two-week rate of positive COVID-19 tests also saw a slight rise of about 1 percent over the previous week. The rate was reported at 8 percent as of Friday. It's the first time the weekly statistic has increased since it rose to 16.5 percent in early January.

About 1,956 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Dickinson County since the pandemic began in March, and 1,872 of those cases are believed to have recovered.

Dickinson County remains in the first tier of the Iowa Department of Public Health's second vaccine distribution phase known as phase 1B. The current tier focuses on emergency personnel from firefighters to welfare and social workers as well as educators and childcare workers. Phase 1B includes four more tiers, covering workers in essential industries like food, agriculture and manufacturing, individuals living in congregate settings and government officials as well as correctional staff and inmates. The current phase was expanded to include Iowans age 65 and older. The age group had at one point been listed under the state's third phase, which included essential workers not previously covered as well as anyone 16-64 with underlying medical conditions. The governor said about half the state will have been vaccinated when the current phase is complete.

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