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Pottawattamie County officials working on Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccine plan

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Health officials in Pottawattamie County are getting ready for the next round of COVID-19 vaccinations, which they said will include most residents.

It’s a massive undertaking that requires a lot of planning.

“It will cover a vast majority of residents in Pottawattamie with this Phase 1B group,” says Matt Wyant of Pottawattamie County Public Health.

By the end of this month or into early February, essential workers like teachers, first responders, those in manufacturing and food processing plants will be able to get the vaccine. Those ages 75 and older — and some people with underlying conditions — also will be eligible. PCPH is now working to get other members of the workforce added as well.

“We have a number of employers on the western side of the county here and in the middle of the county that has individuals from the neighboring state of Nebraska that come over here to work. So we will have to advocate,” Wyant said.

The county has just a few weeks to plan for this large-scale vaccination and has teamed up with five pharmacies including Union Pharmacy in Council Bluffs.

Pharmacists say they are dealing with a number of challenges.

“There’s a lot of things to consider. Storage of the vaccine and how much you can actually work into your workflow, as far as how many patients you think you will be able to work into your workflow to get vaccinated a day and still manage your other clients on getting prescriptions ready it’s a big process and streamlining this is a big thing,” says Sheryl Pfeiler, Union Pharmacy Director of Pharmacy.

County leaders say as of now, all vaccine clinics will take place indoors at the pharmacies. Pharmacists say they are looking forward to helping out their neighbors.

“It’s been a really important thing to us because this affects our friends and family and the people that we know and the patients that we know in the community. We are really trying to help curb this pandemic so, it’s near and dear to us with the people we know,” Pfeiler said.

Once the Phase 1B rollout opens up in the coming weeks, those eligible for the vaccine will be able to download an app, modeled from Test Iowa, from the county to sign up. People will receive a QR code once the appointment has been set.

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