116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — As the supply of COVID-19 vaccines has caught up with demand, public health departments in Linn and Johnson counties have not taken their full allocation in recent weeks.
“With the full activation of federal programs, vaccine supply in Linn County is plentiful and full allocations of state-allocated vaccine is not needed,” Kaitlin Emrich, assessment and health promotion supervisor for Linn County Public Health, said in an email to The Gazette.
Emrich said Linn County Public Health has not taken its full allocation offered by the Iowa Department of Public Health for the past two weeks.
Two weeks ago, Linn County Public Health accepted 4,110 of the 9,250 doses offered — a large allocation due in part to other counties declining vaccines, Emrich said. Last week, Linn County Public Health accepted 4,110 of 4,910 doses offered.
“The amount we have accepted is based on what we believe will be used within our community by our local vaccine providers that receive vaccine from LCPH,” she said.
Sam Jarvis, community health division manager for Johnson County Public Health, told The Gazette last week that Johnson County also had not accepted its full allocation, though he did not know the exact number turned down.
“We’ve met a lot of the demand we initially had,” Jarvis said. “Our providers have had a good amount of supply, so we’re starting to see some saturation.”
Jarvis and Emrich noted the COVID-19 vaccine has been available to Iowans age 16 and older since April 6. Many of those who were eager to get the vaccine have now gotten at least their first dose. Now, Jarvis said, vaccine providers are waiting on those in the “wait and see category” who might be hesitant to be vaccinated.
“Every percentage point going forward will be more difficult to achieve,” Jarvis said, referring to the percentage of Iowans who have been vaccinated.
Vaccines also are available at many pharmacy chains, including Hy-Vee, CVS and Walgreens, through federal sources, the county officials noted.
Although some doses are not being accepted, the county officials want to be clear to the public there are ample doses available and providers are able to address any concerns people might have.
“Many people will want to speak with their health care provider to ask questions about vaccine safety and effectiveness,” Emrich said. “We understand this desire and encourage those individuals to contact their health care provider now. ”
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