DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Department of Public Health has released its guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine priority populations for Phase 1B, based on the recommendations by the Iowa Disease Advisory Council and accepted by IDPH Interim Director Kelly Garcia.
Due to the current and short-term projections for vaccine allocation for Iowa, the following populations will be eligible to receive the vaccine as part of Phase 1B:
- Persons aged 75 years or older or the following populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness;
- Individuals with disabilities living in home settings whom are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff, if not otherwise vaccinated under Phase 1A;
- Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state and city or county operated facilities;
- Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings, not covered by the previous two bullet points, including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. College dormitories shall not be included as part of Phase 1B;
- Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers whom work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing. For example, working in a meatpacking or manufacturing production line or migrant workers whom live in bunkroom style housing;
- PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Sub-prioritization should consider persons who work with younger and at-risk children in care, to better ensure child-wellbeing and mitigate impact to parent workforce;
- First responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers);
- Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety, including those in hospital and long-term care settings, child, and food production safety;
- Government officials, including staff, to ensure continuity of government, engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.
Vaccine allocation strategy for Phase 1B, while a vaccine shortage exists:
- 50% of the vaccine allocation shall be dedicated to priority age populations and individuals of all ages with co-morbidities.
- 50% of the vaccine allocation shall be dedicated to the populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness.
- Allocations shall be monitored and adjusted to ensure efficient and timely use of available vaccine doses.
The IDPH notes that no individual shall be restricted from obtaining vaccine based on residency or citizenship.
IDAC approved the recommendations on a 17 to 1 vote. The IDPH notes that no individual shall be restricted from obtaining vaccine based on residency or citizenship.
The list does not include other essential workers outlined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations under Phase 1B. The CDC recommends United States Postal Service workers, grocery store workers, and public transit workers also be included in Phase 1B plans.
IDPH notes it will require approximately 300-400,000 doses to complete Phase 1A statewide. Iowa has, to date, been allocated approximately 226,000 doses. Vaccination of Phase 1B populations will begin no later than the February 1st and will take several weeks to complete, however this timeline is subject to change.
More details on where Phase 1B populations will receive their vaccines is expected to be released soon. Many will be administered via employer-based clinics. IDPH notes there are approximately 1,700 enrolled vaccine providers in the state. Many are pharmacies and clinical offices equipped to handle screening and scheduling for vaccination efforts. County health departments may partner with these providers to ensure residents have access to the vaccine when it becomes available.
For more details on the Phase 1B recommendations, click here.