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Demand for COVID vaccine far higher than amount available to Cerro Gordo County (AUDIO)

MASON CITY — The signup went quickly on Monday for the 200 available doses of COVID-19 vaccine through the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, with some people complaining about not being able to get signed up.

CG Public Health director Brian Hanft says the demand far outweighed the amount of vaccine they have available.  “The problem is that we had 200 doses that we told people through the CodeRED would be available. 200 doses for literally, probably, I’m just going to say, in excess of 10,000 people seeking those 200 doses. It’s like trying to get U2 concert tickets and there’s only 200 tickets available. There’s only so much we can do when we only have that much limited supply and extremely high demand.”

Hanft says all county health departments are currently handcuffed on the amount of vaccine they can distribute due to a shortage.  “We’re asking for people to follow our guidance, to be patient, and to just recognize this Department of Public Health is ready to go. I want to assure people that if we had 10,000 doses, we could have signed up 10,000 people yesterday, and we’re ready to administer those over a very short period of time. So it’s not a failure on the Department of Public Health, it’s a failure of the system to be able to supply local public health agencies with the needed vaccine in order to administer those doses.”

Hanft says the process local health agencies get vaccine is convoluted.  “The way this works is the federal government received notification that the vaccines are available. The state of Iowa receives approximately 19,500 doses of Moderna vaccine right now. Those doses have to be spread out over the entire state. We receive an inconsistent supply of Moderna vaccine from one week to the next. That’s not uncommon across the state and across the country. It’s pretty hard to plan and give any kind of consistent messaging to the public when we receive those inconsistent supplies. That’s not the fault of the state of Iowa. That’s the fault of overpromising and under-delivering from the federal government level.”

Hanft made his comments during a weekly interview segment on AM-1300 KGLO earlier this morning. If you missed the full interview, you can hear it below


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