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Iowa delegation pushes for more Johnson & Johnson vaccine in state’s allocation

WASHINGTON — Iowa’s congressional delegation is urging the Biden Administration to restructure the state’s weekly allocation of Covid vaccine. The group says putting more doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine in the mix make sense.

Representative Ashley Hinson of Marion said pharmacies in rural parts of the state cannot afford the freezers required to store the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“Rural and low income Iowans face unique barriers to receiving the Covid vaccine,” Hinson said this morning. “One of the challenges, of course, is storing the vaccine in cool enough temperatures.”

Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “fridge-stable” and only requires one dose, making it “easy to distribute in hard-to-reach areas.” Representative Randy Feenstra of Hull tweeted that 1.1 million people live in rural Iowa and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one way to deal with logistical challenges.

Congresswoman Marianette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa, the former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health said prioritizing distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to rural areas would reduce the burden on rural health care providers and county health officials.

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