JCPH activates vaccine interest form

Board of Supervisors
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     While the current round of the COVID-19 vaccines are only being administered to those in Phase 1A, which includes healthcare professionals and long-term care residents, Jones County Public Health (JCPH) is preparing for future phases and populations.

     According to a press release from JCPH, as more vaccines become available, Iowa’s IDAC (Infectious Disease Advisory Council) will review guidance issued by the CDC’s advisory group the ACIP (Advisory Council on Immunization Practices) to further prioritize populations to receive the vaccine in Iowa. IDAC is currently reviewing ACIP recommendations for Phase 1B and Phase 1C priority populations.

     Jenna Lovaas, JCPH director said, “JCPH is partnering with facilities in our county to administer vaccine to the Phase 1A population. JCPH will continue to provide updates for other groups as we receive additional allocations of vaccine. While right now, the vaccine is being made available to healthcare personnel and long-term care residents, it is anticipated by mid-2021 there should be enough vaccine for anyone who wishes to receive it.”

     JCPH created a COVID-19 vaccine interest form to assist with planning the upcoming rounds of vaccinations and to help notify people when vaccine is available. The form is available at www.jonescountyiowa.gov/public_health. Filling out this form does not create an appointment for the vaccine. JCPH will contact residents for scheduling when the vaccine is available.

     Those without internet capabilities can call 319-462-6945 for assistance with completing the interest form.

     JCPH Preparedness Specialist Kaci Ginn provided an update to the Jones County Supervisors during their first meeting of 2021 on Jan. 4. Of the total vaccine doses available, she said 35 percent of the total allocations have been administered thus far.

     “We are working to get word out to law enforcement, EMS, and fire,” said Ginn.

     Supervisor John Schlarmann asked if JCPH was trying to vaccinate as many people as possible, knowing the second doses have yet to arrive. Ginn explained that the state has yet to approve any phase past 1A.

     Of those vaccines still available in Jones County, Ginn and EMA Coordinator Brenda Leonard said they are trying to reach out to as many healthcare professionals as possible locally.

     “If you’re working in home health, we want you to get vaccinated because you work with a vulnerable population,” urged Ginn. “We don’t have to hold any doses back for the second dose.”

     Leonard said those who serve on local fire departments providing lift assistance, as well as ambulance drivers, are high on the Phase 1A list, too.

     Of the closed clinics, or PODs (points of dispensing), Ginn said they’ve been going well, and have not had any security issues. JCPH has had assistance from the Sheriff’s Office and Monticello Police Department.

     “The system is working out well,” Ginn said.

     Now that many healthcare officials have received the first dose of the vaccine, JCPH will be sending out notifications for the second dose.

     “The second shot is the booster dose,” explained Ginn.

     Lovaas shared that anyone receiving the vaccine in Jones County will be getting the Moderna vaccine. The two-dose vaccine is administered 28 days apart.

     Long-term care facilities are receiving the Pzifer vaccine.

     Recent COVID-19 statistics in Jones County:

     • Three residents hospitalized

     • 14.8 percent positivity

     • 53 total deaths (six from the Anamosa State Penitentiary and 28 from long-term care facilities)

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