OSAGE, Iowa - As the state of Iowa continues to get vaccines out to those who want them, Governor Kim Reynolds is getting a closer look at the process in action.
Reynolds toured a mass vaccination clinic in Osage this morning, and is pleased with the high volume of doses being administered, around 400 per day.
"They called and said, 'this is the numbers that they've been doing, we have the capacity to do even more.' Very organized, lots of volunteers, community engagement. A lot of happy citizens that were able to get their shot."
She reiterated the state's vaccination efforts are going well, including hitting the milestone of administering 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. She's upbeat about the arrival of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the state's ability to efficiently distribute the single-dose option.
"We were able to get out all of the Johnson & Johnson, 25,600 in a week, and that really took care a lot of our processing plants, food production. That's where we started with that, about 17 counties, many businesses we were able to work with and get vaccinated. Hy-Vee, who is one of our pharmacy retail partners, are also receiving Johnson & Johnson and they too, are working with different companies to schedule getting their employees vaccinated."
With President Biden's commitment to opening eligibility to every American adult by May 1, she feels that goal can be accomplished in Iowa.
"If they can produce and manufacture the vaccine and get it allocated to states, we'll be able to get Iowans vaccinated."
The Governor mentions that the state is working with partners to establish regional mass vaccination clinics, among other initiatives, in case the state's allocation increases.
"Next week will probably be lower again, and by the third week, they're anticipating that they'll start ramping up again. Once we get those allocations back on track, it'll take about three weeks to get through all of our manufacturing companies, and that's really good news."
Reynolds praises the amount of work that's been put into this effort within a year's time since the announcement of the first COVID case in Iowa.
"In 8 months since the first cases were identified, we have two vaccines available. They were on the way to states across the country and into the arms of our health care workforce and our long-term care residents. A couple of months later, we had the third vaccine. And all of that before the 1-year anniversary of when we first experienced some of our first COVID-positive cases in the state. That's a tremendous milestone. And to be able to ramp that up, with this administration to keep things going, is really important."
At the Osage clinic, Mitchell Co. Home Health Care & Public Health administrator Laura Huisman says the department will be getting a shipment of 1,170 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, and will be doing vaccination clinics almost every day next week.