Public Health News- February 19, 2021
The purpose of this newsbrief is to provide updated information regarding the current status of COVID-19 vaccine for Black Hawk County.
Black Hawk County continues to receive a steady allocation of vaccine through the Iowa Department of Public Health. The first dose (prime) allocation for this week is 2,340 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. (The increase from 1,950 is due to a change in calculation for the sixth dose in each vial.) The doses will be allocated through the county’s community healthcare systems, MercyOne, Peoples Community Health Clinic and UnityPoint Health, to vaccinate the county’s school district staff and persons aged 65 and older.
Black Hawk County school districts will continue to contact employees with additional information about vaccinations taking place this week and running through mid-March.
Persons aged 65 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare providers are contacting their patients, along with patients of the county’s independent medical providers, to schedule appointments as they receive vaccine. Appointments are not available through individual offices or on a walk in basis. If you are a person aged 65 or over and have no affiliation with a health care provider, please call the Black Hawk County Health Department 319-292-2360 for more information.
Vaccine availability in Iowa are continuing to expand through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccines. Please know that appointments for the vaccine fill up quickly and most sites will not allow you to schedule until vaccine is allocated. While this information is subject to change at any time, here are links to area pharmacies where national or state partnerships have been activated:
When you receive your first dose, please follow your provider’s instructions about scheduling for your second; it’s important because boost doses are automatically sent to the same provider.
The Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging is available to assist with questions about navigating online registration portals but they cannot complete the online registration. Please call 800-779-8707 or visit their website.
Click here to learn more from the Centers for Disease Control about correct and consistent mask usage including double masking.
On Friday, February 5th, the Governor of Iowa issued an update to the proclamation of Disaster Emergency, removing key COVID-19 safeguards and enhanced prevention measures. The proclamation continues to encourage businesses and those gathering publically to social distance and practice increased hygiene. Black Hawk County Public Health, MercyOne, Peoples Community Health Clinic and UnityPoint Health recognize the sacrifices our community has made during the pandemic and ask everyone to continue practicing the enhanced public health measures.
There are many myths circulating about the vaccine and we encourage you to look to reliable sources for the facts. Visit https://www.blackhawkcovid19.com/faqs or Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Myth versus Fact series for mythbusters about fertility, mRNA and more.
Please be cautious when clicking links you receive in text messages or email messages to schedule vaccination appointments. Do not open an email attachment if you are not sure what it is. On the phone, if you are suspicious someone is facilitating a scam, hang up the phone. You will not be asked for your credit card information when scheduling appointments through MercyOne, Peoples Community Health Clinic or UnityPoint Health.
The Black Hawk County Health Department will continue to share updates through social media, www.blackhawkcovid19.com, local media and this newsbrief.