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Reynolds: Vaccine demand will far exceed supply for some time

DES MOINES — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa will begin COVID-19 vaccinations for residents 65 years of age and older starting on February 1st. The previous “1B” group plan would have had only those 75 years and older get vaccinations starting next month. 

She says, “Beginning February 1st, Iowans age 65 and older will be eligible for vaccination, and this accounts for  more than 500,000 Iowans. In early February, Tier 1, which includes law enforcement, first responders, pre-K-12 teachers and staff, early childhood educators and child care workers can begin vaccinations at local pharmacies or clinics. Collectively, this tier accounts for approximately 130,000 Iowans.”

Reynolds says Iowa has gotten 160,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far, and about 106,000 of them have already been administered, mostly to front-line health care workers. Reynolds says demand will continue to “vastly exceed supply” in Iowa for quite a while.  “Iowans will need to be patient. Vaccines are coming. There’s good news on the horizon but it’s just going to take some time.”

The plan calls for adding more essential workers to the vaccine mix starting early next month and the governor says it’s possible the state will be sent more doses of the vaccine, but there’s uncertainty with the change in administrations. “We anticipate that our weekly allocation could begin to increase starting the week of February 1st and each week following, but I want to be clear that Iowa today is only receiving 19,500 doses a week.”

Reynolds made her comments late this morning during a news conference that you heard on AM-1300 KGLO. 

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