Iowa COVID-19 vaccinations drop 32% in a week

By: - June 1, 2021 4:22 pm

Reports vary on whether half of Iowans are vaccinated for COVID-19. (Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury)

The number of COVID-19 vaccinations in Iowa has dropped by 32% in the past week, the Washington Post reported. 

The state has shifted to focusing on select populations and events such as baseball games. Some businesses are offering incentives for getting vaccinated. 

With 43.9% of its population vaccinated, Iowa ranks 18th among the states, the Post reported. Overall, 49.3% of Iowans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That compares with 40.7% fully vaccinated nationally and 50.5% with at least one dose.

Iowa has fared well compared with other states and the nation as a whole in the drop in the number of cases and the percentage of residents vaccinated, a New York Times database showed.

“The emergency is over” in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds declared on Fox News recently. She signed a bill banning businesses from requiring “vaccine passports.” 

Some of the reason for the drop is a smaller pool of unvaccinated people. The state with the highest percentage of residents vaccinated, Vermont, saw its number of vaccinations fall 56% in the same week. More than half, 56.4%, of Vermont residents were fully vaccinated, the Post reported.

USA Today reported that across the globe, there have been more cases already in 2021 than were recorded all last year. Part of that has come from hotspots such as India.

Travel was heavier over Memorial Day and large gatherings were common as residents attempted to return to normal. However, doctors are worried that unvaccinated people don’t realize they still are at high risk of contracting the virus, CNN reported.

Some epidemiologists have worried that an outbreak among children under age 12, or among unvaccinated adults, still could cause a surge in the United States. Now, all U.S. residents over age 12 are eligible for vaccines. 

Some Iowans, and other U.S. residents, have chosen not to get the vaccines for political, religious, or other reasons. That likely means the U.S. will not reach “herd immunity” for COVID-19, especially due to a number of variants of the virus that have circulated, epidemiologists told the New York Times

“We don’t want to declare victory prematurely because we still have a ways to go,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, told the Guardian

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health did not return an email seeking comment on the sharp drop in vaccinations in Iowa. As of Monday, Iowa had confirmed 401,828 COVID-19 cases and 6,057 deaths related to the virus. 

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Perry Beeman
Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.

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