Iowa’s vaccine allocation could be reduced by as much as 30%

By: - December 16, 2020 7:58 pm

Iowa’s effort to increase vaccinations for COVID-19 appears to have stalled, with 51% of the population fully vaccinated. (Photo by Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images)

The federal government announced that Iowa, along with other states, will not receive the volume of vaccines they initially expected, Iowa Department of Public Health reported late Wednesday.

No specific reason was provided.

The state was expected to receive enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to provide shots for 172,000 people, beginning the week of Dec. 13, Gov. Kim Reynolds said during a news conference earlier this month.

“It appears our allocation may be reduced by as much as 30%, however we are working to gain confirmation and additional details from our federal partners,” according to the news release. “It will take us some time to work through next steps and adjust our planning.”

But on Thursday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said reports that allocations are being reduced are “incorrect.”

“As was done with the initial shipments of Pfizer vaccine, jurisdictions will receive vaccine at different sites over several days. This eases the burden on the jurisdictions and spreads the workload across multiple days. This same process was successfully used for the initial distribution of Pfizer’s vaccine, and we are simply applying lessons learned. Operation Warp Speed is committed to delivering jurisdictions’ allocated vaccines according to their plans safely, quickly and efficiently,” according to a statement.

Pfizer also sent out a statement on Thursday saying there are no COVID-19 production issues and there are no shipment delays.

IDPH has not provided a response yet.

Iowa health care staff started receiving the first Pfizer vaccines this week. It was unknown Wednesday how a reduction in vaccine supplies would affect the timeline for beginning to innoculate nursing home residents. Long-term care residents are scheduled to be next in line for the vaccine after health care workers.

The news comes after Reynolds announced she was easing COVID-19 mitigation restrictions on bars and restaurants, other social gatherings, and school sporting events.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that U.S. officials said 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allocated across the country, fewer than the 2.9 million from this last week. There was no explanation why the allocation is different, Bloomberg said.

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