JCPH will continue to prioritize 65-plus for vaccine

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Starting March 8, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) will begin vaccinating a new priority population: those 64 years of age and younger with medical conditions that may be an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

     Following that announcement, Jones County Public Health (JCPH) issued a press release stating, locally, the vaccination efforts will focus on Phase 1B through the end of March, which includes those 65 and older. This is due to the limited quantities of the vaccine that have and will continue to be allocated to Jones County.

     “In the event of a substantial increase in volume of vaccine allocated to Jones County, this strategy may be reevaluated,” JCPH stated regarding those 64 and younger.

     Furthermore, JCPH asked that residents of Jones County refrain from contacting family practice clinics to request an appointment to receive the vaccine. Those who are eligible to get the vaccine, who have also filled out the JCPH Vaccine Interest Form online, will be contacted when an appointment becomes available.

     “Individuals who do not have internet access or who require assistance in submitting the form may call JCPH at 319-462-6945 and follow the prompts,” JCPH offered.

     JCPH will continue to hold community-based COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Monticello and Anamosa on Saturdays (every two weeks), by appointment only, on a routine basis. The frequency of clinics will depend on the frequency and volume of the vaccine.

     At the end of last week, family practice clinics in Jones County had vaccinated over 200 people, aged 65-plus. On Saturday, March 6, JCPH held a boost dose clinic (specifically for individuals to receive their second dose) for over 500 people.

     The 14-day positivity rate in Jones County sits at 3.5 percent (4.2 percent statewide). One Jones County resident is hospitalized.

     In the last three days, four positive cases were reported; six cases in the last week.

     “We’re holding steady at a low rate,” commented JCPH Coordinator Jenna Lovaas during the March 2 Jones County Supervisor meeting.

     Lovaas also shared that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be targeted to communities with meat-packing plants.

     “It’ll be a while before Jones County sees any of that,” she said.

     Supervisor Joe Oswald asked Lovaas if Jones County residents were going into Linn County to receive the vaccine. She confirmed that some have gone to Hy-Vees and CVS pharmacies, yes.

     “Some are traveling to do it,” she said.

     There are also county residents who have health providers in Linn County or the VA in Iowa City.

     “But quite a few are getting (the vaccine) through family practice clinics in Jones County or through us as well,” Lovaas said.


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