Cerro Gordo County health officials preparing for next phase of COVID vaccine distribution
MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is preparing for the next phase of administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
CG Public Health director Brian Hanft says the Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council this week pushed out the guidelines for the so-called “1-B” group, which were also approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
That group would focus on all Iowans who are 75 years old and older and other high-risk populations who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 or at high-risk for illness as the result of a coronavirus infection. “It’s also getting into some of the essential worker categories, which would include preschool to grade 12 school staff; early childhood education, child care workers, firefighters, police officers, dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers. So there’s a lot of those groups that are essential workers doing public business that we’ll be focusing on.”
Hanft says though in dealing with a vaccine shortage, the county must complete vaccinating those in the “1-A” group prior to moving forward with the “1-B” group. “We’re currently under a vaccine shortage order through the Iowa Department of Public Health, which ties our hands. Any vaccines that become available, we’ve got to finish what we started with the 1-A group, and we’re not done here. The vaccine allocations have been very small for us to otherwise try to administer, so we continue to try to do that.”
Hanft asks for patience from the public on the vaccination situation. We’ve got to be patient. The vaccine is not available to the 1-B group yet. It’s not going to be for several weeks, so we cannot administer vaccine until we’ve otherwise allocated the vaccines and then authorized to do so.”
Hanft made his comments during the weekly Cerro Gordo County/City of Mason City COVID-19 press conference that you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. Watch the press conference below.