(Editor’s Note: The following was received by the Pen City Current Wednesday afternoon and is being printed in its entirety.)
LEE COUNTY – In response to the many calls and requests for vaccine information and updates, Lee County Health Department (LCHD) would
like to inform the public of the following:
Currently the entire state of Iowa, including Lee County, has activated Phase 1A priority groups for receiving vaccinations under the state’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Phase 1A priority groups include health care personnel and long-term care
residents and staff only. Therefore, all of Lee County’s COVID-19 vaccinations are currently being administered to these priority groups in Phase 1A only.
This phase will most likely continue for the next 3-4 weeks across Iowa.
As more vaccines become available, Iowa’s Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC), will review guidance issued by the CDC’s advisory group, the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP), to further prioritize populations to receive the vaccine across Iowa.
IDAC is currently reviewing ACIP recommendations for Phase 1B and 1C priority populations.
Final determinations of these priority groups will be announced publicly by the state health department. Phase 1B activation will most likely occur in February 2021.
LCHD plans to inform the public of who will be included in the next priority group as soon as final determinations are made by the IDAC/state.
LCHD will then begin scheduling clinics for Phase 1B recipients as soon as this phase is activated and state vaccine orders are received. Information will be posted on LCHD’s Facebook page, shared through various local media outlets, and on the LCHD website at www.leecountyhd.org.
Other vaccinators in the county may also decide, through their own
outreach efforts, to notify the priority groups of their availability.
Lee County will not be permitted to begin phase 1B vaccinations until the state activates this new phase for additional priority populations.
If you are 75 years of age and older or considered an essential worker it may be likely you could be included in the next priority group phase 1B.
Please pay attention to Iowa and local news as the activation of phase 1B will be statewide.
LCHD asks the public to be patient as local vaccinators in the community work together to provide vaccinations as quickly and efficiently as possible during each scheduled phase. Once phase 1B is well under way with significant progress across the state, and additional vaccines are available, phase 1C will be activated by the state.
This could include those 65 years of age and older, people with high risk health conditions, and additional critical infrastructure and essential workers not included in phase 1B.
By mid-year 2021, vaccines should become widely available to anyone that wants it.
It is critical that we continue to practice the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These include:
• Wearing a mask or face covering when in public
• Practicing social distancing with those outside your household
• Cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water
• Staying home if you feel sick
For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus/Vaccine, and follow IDPH on Facebook (@IowaDepartmentofPublicHealth) and Twitter (@IAPublicHealth).
People can also call 211 for additional information.