Iowa received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. Three different national companies have created vaccines that were shown to be highly effective in the late stages of trials. One company, Pfizer, has received an emergency use authorization from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), allowing the vaccine to be distributed nationwide.
The state will receive weekly shipments of the vaccine, and is expected to get 172,000 doses by the end of December. Currently, staff and residents at nursing homes, and healthcare workers will receive the first doses. More than 120,000 Iowans work in hospitals and residential care settings, and more than 22,000 individuals live in certified nursing facilities, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The second round is expected to go to essential workers like teachers, emergency services workers, food packaging and distribution workers, among others. The general population can expect to receive the vaccine in the spring or summer. Each person will need to receive two doses to be fully vaccinated.
Public health experts recommend individuals who receive the vaccine continue to practice mitigation habits like washing hands, staying at least six feet away from others, and wearing a face mask when in public around others.
For more detailed information on vaccine distribution, please visit the Center For Disease Control’s guidebook at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/downloads/COVID-19-Vaccination-Program-Interim_Playbook.pdf. For the state distribution plan, please visit: https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/61/covid19/vaccine/Vaccine_Brief_Vaccine_Dec3_2020_Fin.pdf.