COVID-19 activity spiking as state races to vaccinate

by Travis Fischer

Iowa is still on track to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Iowans by April 5 due to an anticipated increase in vaccine supply.

“We expect to see an increase in Iowa of about 25,000 doses compared to what we’ve received the last two weeks, for a total of more than 128,000 doses of vaccine,” said Governor Kim Reynolds during her weekly press conference on Wednesday, March 24.

The increase in supply includes 18,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine and that amount is expected to increase even further over the next couple weeks. This increase keeps the state on target to opening up vaccinations next week.

However, it is recognized that increasing the eligibility to all Iowans will vastly increase demand for the vaccine far more than can be met by the increased supply. Though all Iowans may become eligible on April 5, appointments to get vaccinated are expected to be in high demand for the immediate future.

“Please be patient. As our weekly allocations continue to increase, so will the number of appointments available,” said Reynolds. “Soon there will be enough vaccine for everyone.”

The State of Iowa administered 231,998 doses of vaccine to Iowa residents last week, bringing the total to 1,463,632 doses administered. This includes 688,040 doses of Pfizer, 736,808 doses of Moderna, and 38,784 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

More than half a million Iowans are now completely vaccinated. With 540,366 completing their two dose vaccination series combined with the 38,784 that have received the J&J vaccine, that brings the total of vaccinated Iowans to 579,150.

However, as the weather warms, it seems the spread of the virus is increasing, as well. As of Sunday, March 28, there have been 349,714 individuals positive with COVID-19 in the state, increasing the 345,785 total from the week prior by 3,929, an increase of more than one thousand cases compared to the previous week.

The state has performed a total of 4,413,036 tests on 1,631,783 individuals since the pandemic began, including 2,895,115 PCR tests and 1,517,921 antigen tests. In the last week the state has processed 47,293 PCR tests and 40,866 antigen tests.

The state has also stopped reporting on the number of individuals considered recovered, making it impossible to know current number of active cases at the moment.

In the last week, 7 percent of new cases have

To read more of this article, please login or sign up for our E-Edition

Comments are closed.