Linn County expected to receive first COVID-19 vaccine doses next week

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Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

Linn County Public Health (LCPH) anticipates receiving the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine next week and plans to begin distributing the vaccine to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. More information about the county’s vaccine distribution will be shared next week, according to LCPH.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said during her Dec. 3 news conference that Iowa should receive 172,000 doses of two COVID-19 vaccines pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel voted 17 to 4, with one member abstaining, on Thursday in favor of emergency authorization of Pfizer vaccine for people 16 years old and older. The FDA almost always follows the advisory panel’s recommendations.

A decision regarding a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna is expected to be made next week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allocate the vaccine to states based on population size and target population, the news release from LCPH stated. The Iowa Department of Public Health will then distribute the vaccine to counties.

Linn County’s first allocations of the vaccine will be directed to healthcare sites with ultra-cold storage capacity, according to LCPH.

In an email to Little Village, LCPH assessment and health promotion supervisor Kaitlin Emrich said the department is “planning for a variety of vaccine distribution scenarios.”

“Given the fluid nature of COVID-19 vaccine distribution as linked to phased vaccine distribution, we will be prepared to share more about vaccine distribution next week,” Emrich said. “We are hoping to learn more about distribution details from state and federal partners in the coming days, as the FDA Emergency Use Authorization is anticipated, and ACIP and the Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council convene, which will guide our vaccine distribution locally.”

The vaccine’s supply is expected to increase next year and eventually be available for anyone who would like to get it.

“Once vaccine is adequately available, residents will be able to receive the vaccine at local pharmacies and some local clinics,” according to LCPH.

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