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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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This is Stephen Schmidt from the Gazette digital news desk and I’m here with your update for Wednesday, May 5.
It is going to be a cloudy day Wednesday, with a chance for rain Wednesday night. According to the National Weather Service there is expected to be a high near 66 degrees in the Cedar Rapids area. A calm wind will blow around 5 mph in the afternoon. As the day goes on, expect the skies to grow increasingly cloudy, and with that will come a chance for rain, with the highest chance actually coming after 1 a.m. on Thursday morning.
Nearly 25 percent of people who initiated the COVID-19 vaccine series in Iowa have missed their second dose, according to state public health officials, potentially throwing a wrench in the race toward herd immunity.
More than 66,000 people have skipped or delayed the second shot in a two-dose vaccine series as of May 2, according to data obtained from the Iowa Department of Human Services. Of the 275,013 individuals who have received the first shot of the series, 66,490 have not received a second shot within the recommended time frame.
The minimum interval between doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 21 days. For Moderna, it’s 28 days.
Although Iowa has exceeded 1 million people with completed vaccinations-- more than one third of its adult population-- these snafus for those who have received the first shot and not completed their second, and an overall declining interest in the vaccine in Iowa, has health officials worried the vaccination effort will stall. This comes as the Biden administration has indicated it may divert vaccines from states like Iowa who are declining vaccines to states who are asking for more.
Iowa health officials confirmed two cases this week of a new COVID-19 variant in Jefferson County. Health officials said this variant, known as the India variant due to its first discovery in that country, is not as worrisome as some other variants that have already been discovered in Iowa. Overall, the discovery of new variants points at the urgency for people to become vaccinated, as it is the best way to guard against potentially more deadly strains of the virus spreading throughout the state.
A University of Iowa doctor and clinical professor has been identified as the victim in Sunday’s fatal plane crash near Tiffin.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday identified the pilot as 73-year-old Dr. Dale Bieber, of Coralville. According to the University of Iowa, Dr. Bieber was a clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and an internist with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics since 2007.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Bieber was the owner of the Cessna T210M fixed-wing, single-engine plane that crashed. Deputies were called to the crash scene at 3:52 p.m. Sunday at 250th Street and Greencastle Avenue. Witnesses reported seeing a plane near the Green Castle Airport and later seeing it crash into a nearby field.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are continuing to investigate the incident.
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