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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Demand for vaccines in Iowa has dropped dramatically in recent weeks with the state ordering fewer doses each week and sliding downward in its national ranking of fully vaccinated people.
Iowa ordered 2,450 doses for this week with only 16 out of Iowa's 99 counties ordering doses, Iowa Department of Public Health spokeswoman Sarah Ekstrand said.
Last week, the state ordered 5,210 doses and the week before that, 7,850 doses.
State public health officials have decided to no longer automatically allocate doses to every county each week and instead will survey the counties and determine the need for each week and order only that amount, Ekstrand said.
State data shows a significant decline in the number of doses administered per day since mid-April when an average of nearly 31,000 doses a day were being administered in Iowa. That has fallen to an average of less than 7,000 doses a day in the past week.
Iowa has been slipping in its ranking among states for the percentage of the population fully vaccinated. When counting all people who were inoculated in Iowa — though some of them are not Iowa residents — the state ranks 21st in the nation, with 1.4 million people fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two weeks ago, Iowa was 17th.
When counting only Iowans age 12 and up, a little more than half that population had been fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, according to state and census data. Adult vaccination rates in Linn and Johnson counties continue to be slightly higher than the statewide average.
Iowa has been dealing with significant vaccine resistance in recent weeks, but Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has said she has no plans to implement an incentive program to encourage vaccination as some states have done. Some states have offered prizes such as lottery tickets as an enticement. Reynolds said the free vaccine is available for anyone who wants it.
In April, she set a goal of reaching 75 percent of Iowa adults being vaccinated by the end of June. As of Tuesday, 52.9 percent of Iowans age 18 and older have been fully vaccinated and 62.3 percent have had at least one dose.