Vaccine supply gets a boost, but demand still outweighs it

by Travis Fischer

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues across the state as more of the population completes their first round of vaccinations.

“It’s really hard to believe that just 46 days ago not a single dose of vaccine had even arrived in Iowa yet,” said Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday, Jan. 27. “Since then, more than 200,000 vaccines have been administered in Iowa.”

Starting on Feb. 1, with the expectation that the bulk of Iowa’s front line healthcare workers and long term care staff and residents have at least received their first dose of vaccine, the state has opened the vaccine eligibility up to Iowans 65 and older.

The challenge now is supplying health care providers with enough vaccine to meet demand for the general populous.

At the current rate of allocation, even as the state adds unexpended vaccine supplies from pharmacy companies to their total and works to more efficiently get more doses out of every vial, it will still take several weeks, if not months, to vaccinate just Iowa’s senior population.

On the upside, news broke last week that Johnson & Johnson is well on their way to developing a third variant of the COVID-19 vaccine, joining the ranks of Pfizer and Moderna. Developed at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, the vaccine trial has shown it to be less effectiveness than its counterparts so far, with an 85 percent effective rate at preventing severe disease conditions and a 66 percent effectiveness rate at preventing moderate conditions. However, as a single shot vaccine rather than one that requires two doses means that it can be effec-

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