Community vaccine clinics winding down as more become vaccinated

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County Public Health is working to see that those working in manufacturing and industry receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

     Late last week, JCPH Coordinator Jenna Lovaas shared that the county was receiving “an unexpected allocation of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.” Compared to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the J&J vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.

     Lovaas said MercyCare Monticello and the Jones Regional Medical Center (JRMC) pharmacy were assisting in reaching out to local manufacturers and distributing the J&J vaccine.

     The remainder of the vaccines will be used for a special, one-time vaccine clinic at Midland High School in Wyoming on Wednesday, April 7. Lovaas said JCPH wants to “target individuals who live in the communities in the southern part of Jones County.”

     JCPH will also continue to receive small amounts of doses of the J&J vaccine within future weeks.

     The county’s 14-day positivity rate remains around 5 percent, which is now almost identical to that of the state’s. Jones County’s case increases include: three cases in the last three days, 10 cases in the last seven days, and 25 cases in the last 14 days.

     “Steady is OK, if it starts going back down,” Lovaas said during the March 30 Jones County Supervisor meeting, concerning the rate increases.

     The increase in cases, Lovaas noted, is not necessarily due to recent spring break travel.

     “It seems to be more larger friend/family gatherings,” she said.

     As of April 5, all Iowans 16 years and over were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Lovaas said those ages 16 and 17 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.

     A total of 6,062 county residents have received the first and/or second dose of the vaccine, as of April 2.

     JCPH is now opening all of its community vaccine clinics to all who are eligible who have filled out the vaccine interest form. Currently two more clinics are scheduled for those needing just the first dose on April 10 in Anamosa and April 24 in Monticello. From there, JCPH will host two clinics in May for those needing the follow-up second dose.

     “It’s just not becoming necessary anymore,” Lovaas told the board of supervisors of hosting community vaccine clinics.

     Supervisor Ned Rohwedder, who received his second dose at the Monticello-based clinic, praised JCPH for the smooth process.

     “It ran very efficiently,” Rohwedder said. “I was pleased with how it worked out.”

     In addition, JCPH was also informed that Wal-Mart in Anamosa would soon start providing the COVID-19 vaccine. Hartig Drug in Monticello is also offering it.

     Lovaas informed the board of supervisors that as more and more county residents become eligible to receive the vaccine and become fully vaccinated, whether in-county or out, JCPH will cease tracking the numbers of those vaccinated.

     “I’m just not going to try to keep my list updated anymore,” Lovaas said. “That would be a ridiculous amount of work.”

     Everyone, with the exception of those who get vaccinated through the VA, are tracked by the state’s IRIS (immunization registry information system).

     Those who previously filled out the JCPH vaccine interest form but have received the vaccine elsewhere will continue to be notified by JCPH of available appointments. Lovvas said those individuals could ignore the emails.

     However, with more people seeking the vaccine outside of the county, Lovaas said it’s becoming harder to fill the community clinic appointments.

     “But we have enough people on standby to fill the slots,” added Lovaas.


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