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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Providers have surpassed administering 700,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa since the first inoculations in December, state public health data released Sunday show.
The vast majority of those shots - 679,016 of the total 705,151 - went to Iowans, the data show.
A total of 178,875 people - an increase of 9,258 since last week - have completed getting both of the required doses.
In Linn County, 51,390 total doses have been administered, the data showed Sunday. Just over 8 percent - 14,084 people - of the county's adult population now has received both doses.
In Johnson County, 47,013 total doses have been administered. Nearly 12 percent - 14,393 people - of the county's adult population now has received both doses.
Iowa remains in Phase 1B of the rollout, focusing on people 65 and older, first responders and teachers among other priority groups. Front-line health care workers were included in the earlier Phase 1A that began on Dec. 14, 2020.
The state has not yet announced a date when the vaccine would be more widely available.
Late Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency approval to a third vaccine, this one from Johnson & Johnson, that is expected to gradually ease a scare supply.
While the new vaccine may be a boon to rural areas because it does not need to be frozen and requires only one dose, it also is less effective in preventing illness from the novel coronavirus - showing about a 72 percent efficacy rate in the United States compared with efficacy rates in the mid-90 percents from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines now being administered.
Still, that rate is far above the 50 percent efficacy required for FDA approval. In comparison, studies have shown the flu vaccine is up to 60 percent effective in keeping people from getting ill from the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
The state reported 348 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the 24-hour period that ended at 11 a.m. Sunday. That brings the total number of cases in Iowa since the pandemic was confirmed here to 336,311.
Of the new cases, 23 were in Linn County, for a total so far of 19,394. Ten of the cases were in Johnson County, bringing its total to 13,065.
The state said its positivity rate was 5.97 percent, the highest rate since the Iowa Department of Public Health announced last month it would begin reporting its positivity rate in accordance with the methodology used by the CDC.
Until Sunday's slightly higher percentage, that rate has ranged from 3.57 to 5.19 percent.
One more COVID-19 death was confirmed Sunday, bringing the total number of Iowans who have died as a result of the disease to 5,471.
The death was reported as someone over 80 who died in January in Dickinson County.
While still on a downward trend since hitting a peak late last year, the number of people being treated for the infection in Iowa hospitals ticked up in the 24-hour period.
Hospitalizations rose from 181 to 196. Similarly, the number of patients in intensive care rose from 43 to 50 and those on ventilators went from 18 to 19.
The Washington Post contributed.