(Des Moines, IA) -- The state of Iowa's starting to make plans for the next wave of residents eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Kim Reynolds says by next week 70-percent of those currently eligible will have have gotten at least one dose. The state estimates 70-percent of those 65-and-older will have gotten a dose by mid-March. At that time, the next wave will begin, which includes essential workers and those with disabilities living in a home setting who may not have already received a dose. The state's estimating 70-percent of people in that group may get a vaccine by early April. Governor Reynolds is stressing the timeline is an estimate, and some counties may be able to move more quickly than others, based on population. She says the the timeline can also change, due to a variety of events, such as the recent, weather-related disruption of shipments nationally.
Reynolds says the states have learned that weather-related back-logs are believed to have been resolved, and deliveries have been made, and local health departments are starting to catch up.
She says during this week's White House meeting with governors it was announced that vaccine allocations will be increased by another one-million doses by next week. It's also expected that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be approved and distributions will begin as early as next week. Reynolds says Iowa is expecting 25,800 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, starting next week. The governors were told that Johnson & Johnson has a goal of shipping out 100-million doses by the end of June.
The state is launching a new website tomorrow (Friday), vaccinate.iowa.gov. It will contain information and links to places where Iowans can register for a vaccine. The state is also enhancing the 2-1-1 call center for those without computer access. That's expected to happen the week of March 8th, and at that time Iowa seniors can call 2-1-1 and schedule a vaccine appointment. Those who have already called 2-1-1 have been placed on a wait list, navigators have started to contact them to begin the process of scheduling. Health care providers also continue to schedule appointments to their patients.
Reynolds is reminding Iowans that navigators calling seniors to schedule an appointment will only ask for their name, birth date, and county of residents. They will not ask for social security, credit card or health insurance.