The state of Iowa will reach a milestone this week, with over 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine being distributed statewide. In addition to the Moderna and Pfizer allocations, Iowa will receive an additional 25,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was approved for Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA and CDC on February 28.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) have assigned the Johnson & Johnson vaccine allocation to 17 Iowa counties (listed below) with significant Phase 1B, Tier 2 populations, who are frontline essential workers in food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing sectors and who live or work in settings that make social distancing unfeasible.
Counties Receiving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine include; Black Hawk, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Dubuque, Linn, Louisa, Marion, Marshall, Muscatine, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Sioux, Tama and Wright.
The decision by the state to distribute Johnson & Johnson to the Phase 1B, Tier 2 population will ensure that local public health departments can coordinate with employers on the quick administration of COVID-19 vaccine to essential workforce who have been disproportionally affected by the virus. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires only one dose and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, making it less logistically complex to handle and administer.
Trinity Muscatine’s Public Health Department is working closely with the food manufacturing companies to begin distributing the Johnson & Johnson doses per guidance directly received from IDPH. “We have several food manufacturing companies to vaccinate in Muscatine County and the process will likely take us all of March to complete, while also holding mass clinics to administer all second doses for Phase 1B/Tier 1 workforce” stated Christy Roby Williams, Director of Public Health for Muscatine County.
“Once food manufacturing is completed with receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we will move onto additional industries in the county according to IDPH’s guidelines. We will continue to leverage our partnerships with Dr. offices and pharmacies to administer vaccines to the 65 years and older populations each week with the Moderna doses that the state is providing our county” stated Roby Williams.
Until the vaccine reaches everyone who wishes to receive it, we must continue practicing the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
• Wear a mask or face covering
• Practice social distancing with those outside your household
• Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
• Stay home if you feel sick
• Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
• Get a COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible, AND it is available
o People ages 65 years and older: Please wait for your Dr. office to call you to schedule an appointment or for our local pharmacy partners to announce when they have vaccine available.
o Businesses in Phase 1B: Public Health will be working directly with your company to support setting up vaccine clinics.
For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus/Vaccine, follow Trinity Muscatine Public Health at www.muscatinecountyiowa.gov, https://www.unitypoint.org/quadcities/covid-19-vaccine-1.aspx, and on Facebook (@TrinityMuscatinePublicHealth).