Reynolds Pushes All Eligible Iowans To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine
Gov. Kim Reynolds is pushing all eligible Iowans to get a COVID-19 vaccine, as the demand for the vaccine appears to be declining across the state.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 43 counties declined all or part of their vaccine allocation on April 15 so that their supply didn’t exceed demand.
This is an increase from April 8 when state numbers show 21 counties declined their allocations.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Reynolds said state officials are looking into why some Iowans may be hesitant.
"It's important to understand why certain groups may be hesitant so that we can continue to do everything that we can to take a more targeted approach to providing the information and vaccination options that are most relevant for them," she said.
Reynolds cited polling data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which indicates people ages 18 to 24 were the most likely to say they would "wait and see" about getting the COVID-19 vaccine followed by 18 percent of those 30 to 49 and 17 percent of those 50 to 64.
Reynolds said this data is one of the reasons state officials have decided to focus on vaccinating university students before they go home for the summer.
However, recent polling has found vaccine hesitancy is declining overall, and the groups that indicate they are the most likely to turn down the shot are Republicans and white evangelical Christians.
When asked about vaccine hesitancy among member of her own political party, Reynolds said the state is still looking into many different groups that are hesitant about the vaccine.
"I would like I think we need to look larger scale, and we need to really do a deep dive and take a look at why what's behind it," she said.
Reynolds invited Iowa National Guard Leader Adjutant Gen. Benjamin Corell, who shared his personal experience with COVID-19 to encourage more Iowans to be vaccinated.
Corell said he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized for a week last November, and said he still continues to experience shortness of breath.
"Almost every day now we see the news that COVID-19 is still a reality," he said. "People continue to get sick, some are hospitalized, and others lose their life. We learn new variants of this virus and we still see spikes of new infection happening because of it in some places.”
Corell said he was vaccinated in March and said half of the current Iowa National Guard members have still not been vaccinated.
"For those of you sitting on the fence, wondering about getting vaccinated, do it. It's the right thing to do for you, your family, your neighbors and our communities," he said.
According to state data, 53 percent of Iowans 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 37 percent are fully vaccinated.