COVID vaccination rate begins to pick up, teachers getting doses

Friday, February 19, 2021

Last week, 526 people in Buena Vista County received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 111 received their final booster shot. In a report to county supervisors, new county Public Health Administrator Julie Sather called the process a good week, and said 300 more prime doses of vaccine were expected to arrive this week.

I feel like we are pushing forward as quickly as we can with the amount of vaccine that we have available, Sather said.

Counties must administer 80% of all prime doses each week or the allocation for the next week can be reallocated elsewhere. BV County has solid plans for distributing a minimum of 80% each week, Sather says.

She said one local pharmacy, HyVee, had received a first shipment of vaccine, reserved for the priority group age 65 and over. The pharmacy had used all its doses as of Wednesday, and was unsure when an additional supply would be available.

All four local medical clinics will also have ongoing vaccinations for the older age group, and Public Health is vaccinating those on their waiting list who do not have a medical provider.

Storm Lake schools staff began receiving vaccinations last week and 50 more were scheduled to be served yesterday. Alta-Aurelia and Sioux Central school staffs were scheduled for vaccination Friday. Storm Lake firefighters are being vaccinated by the medical center.

Asked about the process when vaccine becomes available to Buena Vista University population, Sather said options might be to have a vaccination clinic in the field house or in a parking lot - preferably with smaller groups at a time, since the university and health leaders have stressed social distancing throughout the pandemic.

Whether vaccine comes from medical provider, Public Health or a pharmacy, people should return to the same source for their booster shot.

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Buena Vista County have slowed. As of midweek, there had been 17 cases confirmed in the previous 14 days. The highest percentage of new cases have been to the age 17 and under age group. In the northwest Iowa district, 22 people were hospitalized with COVID.

To date as of this week, 4,054 Buena Vista Residents have tested positive since the pandemic began, and 3,925 had recovered.

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