DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Gov. Reynolds announced on Wednesday that all eligible Iowans can receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting on April 5.
Those age 16 and older can be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and those 18 and older will be eligible for the Moderna and J&J vaccines.
“For months, we held onto hope that a vaccine would eventually be available and that it would make it possible to get life back to normal. I think we all can say that time is now. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, and it’s what will allow us to fully return to living our lives in the ways that we value the most,” said Gov. Reynolds.
She said expanding the eligibility opens up the opportunity for more Iowans to be vaccinated, but it also means that more Iowans will be vying for the vaccine appointments as they become available.
“Even though the vaccine supply is increasing, there’ still, at this point, won’t be enough doses to vaccinate everyone immediately. It will take some time to work our way through the process, so we’re asking you to please remain patient,” said Gov. Reynolds.
The governor mentions that the State of Iowa is waiting for the allocation number of vaccines available to increase.
Gov. Reynolds said next week’s allocation in the number of COVID-19 vaccines would be a “significant increase,” especially for the J&J vaccine for Iowa.
She added that the state is working with 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 them that they have been vaccinated before coming back to school for the fall semester,” said Gov. Reynolds.
Next week, the governor said that there would be a small allocation of the J&J vaccine will be provided to Dordt University, Northwestern College, University of Iowa, and Des Moines-Ankeny Community College.
Gov. Reynolds said the state is also taking additional steps to help ensure that people with barriers in scheduling appointments can easily get help.
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that Iowa 211 would be expanding the vaccine scheduling service to help those aged 64 and younger with an underlying health condition and people age 65 and up.
The Iowa 211 vaccine scheduling service is for those who can’t make the appointment, whether from a language barrier or technology issues.
“With increasing vaccine supply and expanded assistance for those who need it, I’m confident that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have a chance to do so,” said Gov. Reynolds.
Gov. Reynolds said that IDPH and her office have connected with four Catholic dioceses across the state to help identify ways to support vaccination clinics for minority and refugee communities in the upcoming weeks.
She mentions they’re also working with pastors across Iowa to support their needs.
The governor held a news conference on Wednesday morning, see the replay of the news conference above.