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Vaccine eligibility open to all Iowa adults on Monday

JOHNSTON, Iowa (KWWL) -- During her press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Reynolds provided an update on the state's plans to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all adults.

On Monday, April 5, all eligible Iowans can be vaccinated. Those age 16 and up can receive the Pfizer vaccine and those age 18 and up can receive the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

While the state is opening up, Reynolds reminded that this means there will be more demand for the vaccine.

"Even though the vaccine supply is increasing, there still at this point, won't be enough doses to vaccinate everyone immediately," Reynolds said. "It will take some time to work our way through the process so again we're asking you to please remain patient..."

Reynolds says that appointments will soon become more readily available for anyone who wishes to get the vaccine.

She announced that the state is now 5th in the nation for vaccine administration rate and the state is set to get its largest allocation yet, at nearly 161,000 doses. This including 45,800 new doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will mostly be used for essential employee vaccination clinics. Once those are done, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be made more widely available to the general public.

40 percent of Iowans 18 and older have received at least one dose, which is 17th in the nation and 85 percent of Iowans 65 and older have at least one dose.

Reynolds also provided more details about the 2-1-1 service expanding. The service can now schedule an appointment to Iowans 60 and older as well as those with underlying health conditions between the ages of 16-64. Iowans who cannot schedule an appointment on their own are also being asked to use the service.

Reynolds said the number of participating pharmacies in the Federal Retail Pharmacy program could be increasing, which would mean more vaccination locations in Iowa. This would include smaller pharmacies in more rural areas as well.

The state is working with regent, private and community colleges to support the vaccination of college students and staff before they leave campus for the summer.

"This will protect their families upon their return home and it will ensure that they have been vaccinated before they come back to school for the fall semester," Reynolds said.

Next week, a small allocation will be provided to several colleges and universities, including the University of Iowa to begin student vaccinations. Reynolds said larger amounts of Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be allocated to universities in the following weeks.

The state will also soon be providing a regular allocation of Johnson & Johnson vaccines to local public health departments for general use.

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