Reynolds says Iowa’s COVID-19 vaccination process working well
The state’s vaccination system relies on Iowans to be truthful
JOHNSTON, Iowa (WOWT) - Gov. Kim Reynolds gave an update Wednesday morning on Iowa’s COVID-19 response.
The governor said there are no plans to deviate from the state’s current vaccination rollout plan, prioritizing vaccinations by age and by certain priority groups.
Iowa health officials say the system is relying largely on Iowans being honest about their health when arranging for a vaccine. Reynolds said Wednesday that the process is working well.
The governor said she had no issues with Iowans going to neighboring counties — making calls and “willing to drive” — to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
As Iowa ramps up vaccinations to include everyone between age 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions, the state has turned to the honor system with no validation required when someone claims to qualify for a shot due to a health issue. The state is allowing adult Iowans to get vaccinated if they have any one of several conditions including cancer, lung disease, and heart disease that create a higher risk for severe illness should they get a coronavirus infection. Obesity and smoking also qualify.
Vaccination clinics are planned for the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids areas, Reynolds said, noting later that the state is expecting a major influx of vaccinations by June.
More than 18,400 people at 51 food processing plants in 17 counties have been vaccinated, the governor said Wednesday. More workforce vaccination efforts are expected to start next week, she said. Many companies have been arranging vaccinations for their employees through local health departments or pharmacies.
Reynolds also announced Wednesday that she is forming a task force to address the state’s shortage of high-quality child care and other issues families have been facing with this issue since well before the COVID-19 pandemic, noting the problem was amplified during the past year because of the pandemic.
The governor refused comment on press freedoms relating to the trial of journalist Andrea Sahouri who was arrested during a Black Lives Matter protest last summer.
Watch Wednesday’s news conference
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