SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Siouxland District Health Department Director Kevin Grieme says it’s not for a lack of COVID-19 vaccines folks aren’t getting one–rather a lack of people willing to show up with open arms.
Even though Woodbury County was one of 88 Iowa counties to reject its weekly allotment of vaccines from the federal government, Siouxland District Health still has roughly 8,000 doses available.
This comes as roughly 30 percent of Woodbury County is now vaccinated–nowhere near the 70 percent Grieme would like to see.
“We do not want to stockpile vaccine. We want to make sure it goes to places that still have individuals getting interested in being vaccinated,” Grieme said.
Grieme says Siouxland District Health is continuing to push the need to get vaccinated to underserved communities.
“We are not having the demand we previously did…there are certain individuals we know that, with just the diversity within our community, I think it’s making sure that we reached out to them, and attempted to educate them, in, basically, their own language,” Grieme said.
Grieme says besides vaccine hesitancy, another barrier to getting the shot is scheduling conflicts.
However, a potential step forward in the vaccination effort could help prevent another surge in cases.
“I think [for] the 12 year olds–we’re looking potentially of approval of that for the Pfizer vaccine potentially by the end of May,” Grieme said.
With a number of outdoor largescale events planned for this summer, Grieme stresses if you’re not feeling well, stay at home.
“If we can just take those precautions, I think that’s the sort of thing that can continue this navigation towards more normalcy,” Grieme said.