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CG Public Health progressing with Phase 1a of vaccination plan, Phase 1b details announced

MASON CITY – Yesterday the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) accepted the Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council’s (IDAC) final Phase 1b vaccination recommendations.

The guidelines for Phase 1b focus on all Iowans who are age 75 and over and other high-risk populations who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 or at high-risk for illness as the result of a COVID-19 infection; these IDPH guidelines are in no order:

  • Individuals with disabilities who are dependent on attendant care staff living in home settings, and their attendant care staff, if not otherwise vaccinated under Phase 1a.
  • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state and city- or county-operated facilities.
  • Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings, not covered by the first two bullets, including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. (College dormitories are not included as part of Phase 1b.)
  • Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing workers working in or living in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing.
  • PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers (sub prioritization should consider those who work with younger and at-risk children to better ensure wellbeing and mitigate impact to parent workforce).
  • First responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers).
  • Inspectors responsible for health, life, and safety, including those in hospital and long-term care settings, child, and food production safety.
  • Government officials, including staff, to ensure continuity of government, engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.

Under the current IDPH vaccine shortage order, vaccine providers are required, by law, to only administer vaccines to individuals included in Phase 1a: Healthcare Personnel and Long-term care residents and staff.

“The guidelines from the State for 1b, now allow us to plan for the next phase of vaccine while we finish vaccinating 1a,” states Director of CG Public Health, Brian Hanft. “I am inspired to see the amount of excitement from those who wish to be vaccinated, but please understand we cannot control the amount of vaccine allocated to us by IDPH.”

CG Public Health will use the guidance above to plan so we are ready when the entire state moves together to vaccinate Phase 1b. Hanft adds, “our goal of vaccinating as many Cerro Gordo County residents, as quickly as vaccine supply allows, remains the same and as a county we are reaching benchmarks. About 75% of that Phase 1a population has received their first dose.”

Vaccination waiting lists are NOT available for 1a or 1b and the public is asked not to call their healthcare providers or CG Public Health requesting to be vaccinated.

“We understand the confusion with IDPH’s announcement yesterday coinciding with the federal government’s intentions to significantly increase distribution of the vaccine to states and its recommendation to vaccinate residents over the age of 65 and those with significant health issues,” states Hanft. “We look forward to  broader distribution criteria allowed by the State when it has reasonable confidence that supply meets the demand”.

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