DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the Biden Administration would increase the amount of COVID-19 doses the state will receive over the next three weeks.
She said the Biden Administration would increase each state’s COVID-19 allotment by 16 percent starting next week, which amounts to 6,300 additional doses, a total of 25,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine. In addition, the state will also receive 19,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. For the next three weeks, Iowa will receive 44,300 total doses according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, but how many doses beyond that is uncertain.
Reynolds said the Biden Administration, on a conference call with governors, said that the FDA is close to granting Johnson & Johnson emergency approval for their COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, this vaccine only requires one dose, which Reynolds says should speed up vaccination efforts.
Vaccination efforts, however, she said, will still take time.
“Even with this positive news, and that is, I want to remind Iowans that the vaccine supply will remain limited for quite some time,” Reynolds warned.
She added that Iowa is making good progress in its vaccination plan.
“Last week, when I announced the updates to phase one B including the expansion of vaccine eligibility for adults, aged 65 and older, many counties had that had already completed one A vaccinations and had doses available had immediately moved into that next phase,” Reynolds stated.
However, the national supply is still limited.
“Even with the 16 percent increase starting next week, the nation’s current vaccine supply simply cannot keep up with the incredibly high demand. And I know that that can be frustrating to hear. I know Iowans are very eager to get vaccinated and finally put COVID-19 behind them, and that time is coming, but we need to remain patient,” Reynolds said.
She noted that the state’s vaccination efforts with long-term-care facility residents are progressing. The first phase with the first dose of the vaccine will be complete by the end of the week. The second phase with a second dose and catching residents and staff who have not received the first dose the state projects will end by late February. A third-round will then give the second dose to those who received their first dose in February.
“Overall, the program is reporting that they’ve seen a 90 percent uptick of long-term-care residents in Iowa they’re choosing to be vaccinated, which I think is extremely positive. The rate has been a little bit lower amongst staff during the first phase that average is about 50 percent. However, when I talked to the pharmacy partners this week, they are seeing about a 30 percent increase in staff choosing to be vaccinated during the second phase,” Reynolds said.
She added that CVS and Walgreens, who partnered with the federal government to provide the vaccine to long-term-care facilities, will release any unused doses they receive back to the state for reallocation.
“We’re working on the logistics of that now with the CDC. And as soon as we receive the unused vaccine, it will immediately be distributed to providers to vaccine adults age 65 and up,” Reynolds stated.
Listen to the full press conference below: