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IDPH denies request from Regents to add college faculty to phase 1B

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University of Iowa campus on Wednesday January 27

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - The Iowa Department of Public Health has denied a request from the state's education governance bodies to add faculty and essential support staff at state colleges to the next phase of vaccine administration.

The Iowa Board of Regents, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Iowa Association of Community College Trustees and the Department of Education submitted a letter to IDPH on Monday.

In the letter, the agencies noted there are several other states vaccinating post-secondary educators alongside PK-12 staff. The only educators covered under Iowa's vaccine Phase 1B are PK-12 staff and early childhood educators.

"The role of our faculty and staff is not different and is many times the same students," Emily Shields said, executive director for the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees.

In a response sent to Board of Regents Executive Director Mark Braun, Interim Director for IDPH Kelly Garcia said they do not have the supply to accommodate this request.

"As our state allocation remains low relative to demand, our focus must remain targeted. In this case, we are focusing on age and individuals living or working in congregate settings that result in poor health outcomes," Garcia said over email.

KWWL will have more on this Wednesday night at 10.

2021-01-25-Dir-Garcia-Vaccine-Rollout-Request

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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