Frontline healthcare workers begin COVID vaccinations

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     According to Jones County Public Health (JCPH), since frontline workers started receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Jones County, about 20 percent of the initial allocation has already been administered.

     The two-dose vaccine will require the second shot 28 following the first.

     The long-term care and assisted living facilities in the county are receiving the Pfizer vaccine through the National Pharmacy Partnership Program.

     “The Monticello and Anamosa facilities have been contacted by their pharmacy partner and are scheduled to receive their first vaccinations the week of Jan. 4,” reported JCPH.

     As of New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, the number of hospitalized COVID patients in Jones County was down to zero. The county’s 14-day positivity rate is at 12.8 percent (12.3 percent in Iowa).

     Other COVID-19 facts and figures:

     • 2,581 total confirmed cases since mid-March

     • 2,385 individuals recovered

     • 15 positive cases reported in the last three days

     • 26 cases reported in the last week

     JCPH Coordinator Jenna Lovaas said the state’s death count for Jones County lags behind, perhaps due to a delay in the finalization of death certificates. JCPH reports 52 total deaths in the county. That includes six inmates from the Anamosa State Penitentiary, and 33 from long-term care facilities.

     EMA Coordinator Brenda Leonard and JCPH Preparedness Specialist Kaci Ginn updated the Jones County Supervisors during their Dec. 29 board meeting regarding the vaccination process. Leonard said she is assisting JCPH in establishing vaccination PODs (points of dispensing). Ginn said those “closed clinics” (PODs) “are privately held for specific populations” to receive the vaccine.

     “COVID-19 vaccine PODs are ‘closed’ because they are specifically for healthcare providers,” explained Ginn. “These clinics require appointment times and no one will be admitted to the sites without an appointment.”

     Ginn said they were looking forward to those closed clinics taking place within the week (last week).

     Ginn informed the supervisors that they couldn’t disclose the specific locations of the PODs, as well as the number of vaccine doses the county received for security reasons.

     “Some healthcare providers already started administering the vaccine,” Ginn offered.

     “Jones Regional Medical Center started yesterday (Dec. 28) on their own staff,” added Lovaas.

     In addition, more doses of the vaccine have been allocated for phase 1C and 1D. Those priority groups include a combination of frontline workers “such as first responders and education personnel, as well as those who are at greater risk for adverse outcomes if they were to contract COVID-19, such as immunocompromised individuals,” Ginn offered.

     The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in Jones County according to guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), as well as in partnership with local healthcare providers.

     Supervisor Joe Oswald inquired as to how many people were taking the vaccine, of those it’s been offered to thus far. Lovaas said about 50 percent have been willing to get the shot.

     Ginn later explained that if, for instance, all those eligible for the first dose choose not to be vaccinated, “Jones County will retain those doses for when we receive authorization to begin vaccinating next groups” (1C and 1D, for example).

     Additional shipments of the vaccine have been earmarked for the second dose.


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