Teachers, grocery workers, are next on Polk County’s COVID-19 vaccine timeline

Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester. (Photo by Mark Lennihan/Pool via Getty Images)

Police officers, teachers and grocery store workers are on the list of essential workers who will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine following long-term care residents and health care personnel, according to the Polk County Health Department.

On Tuesday, the Polk County Health Department released a tentative immunization timeline for central Iowa.

Polk County is currently undergoing vaccination Phase 1A, which is expected to continue through spring 2021. Long-term care residents, staff and medical workers fall under the prioritization.

Immediately following Phase 1A, workers such as firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers and educational workers will be eligible for immunizations.

Additionally, people 75 and older will also be eligible, due to their high risk of hospitalization, according to the Polk County Health Department.

Following Phase 1B, eligibility will expand to people between 65-74, teens and adults between 16-64 with underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers, such as those in logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety and public health.

Following Phase 1C, the general public may get immunized, which is expected to start mid-to-late 2021, according to the Polk County Health Department.

Like other states, Iowa’s vaccine distribution plan is starting slower than expected following national delays.

At least 53,000 Iowans have received their first vaccine dose so far. Initially, the Centers for Disease Control said it was sending enough doses for 138,000 people for the month of December.