Round 2 of vaccinations set to begin Feb. 1

Final Washington County Phase 1A clinic Wednesday

Phase 1B of COVID vaccinations is expected to begin on Feb. 1 in Washington County and around the state.

Washington County Public Health Director Danielle Pettit-Majewski told the Board of Supervisors Wednesday that her department will have its final Phase 1A vaccination clinic Wednesday.

“We expect to start (Phase) 1B on Feb. 1,” Pettit-Majewski said.

To date, 1,548 Phase 1A vaccinations have been administered in Washington County.

Phase 1A includes front-line health care workers and people living in long-term care facilities.

According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Phase 1B will include people age 75 and over, older adults living in congregate settings, as well as essential front-line workers like police, firefighters and EMS staff.

Last week, though, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the state will expand its Phase 1B criteria to include Iowans age 65 and older.

Pettit-Majewski said that the adjusted criteria will have a significant impact on the county’s vaccination plans.

“Our demand went up significantly, while our supply stays the same,” she said.

She said that the state allocates doses to counties each week, and that the counties schedule vaccine clinics based on their weekly allocation.

She said that, each week, the state receives about 19,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 19,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Half of the Pfizer doses are allocated to the pharmacy vaccination program that is focused on long-term care facilities. The other half of the Pfizer doses are allocated to organizations that have the ability to store the vaccine at the required ultra-low temperature.

The Moderna doses, which do not require to be stored at such an extreme temperature, are allocated to other organizations and health departments around the state.

“Until we start getting more vaccine rollout, it will take time,” Pettit-Majewski said.