Photo from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Marion County and the state of Iowa remain in Phase 1A of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Currently, the vaccine is only available to healthcare providers who are in direct contact with patients or those where exposure is likely. Marion County Public Health Director Kim Dorn tells KNIA/KRLS News that it will likely be late spring before the general public can be vaccinated. She says that the vaccine availability remains sparse at this time, and that people need to have patience until it is widely available.

“We’re going to be under shortage orders for weeks yet, maybe months. People need to understand that we’re only getting 200 doses this next round for the county. The state of Iowa only gets 19,000 doses for the entire state per week. That’s not enough to be really liberal in providing vaccine to everybody who wants it. We are going to have to stay very focused until the vaccine starts flowing more.”

Phase 1B is the next step in the vaccination effort, which will include essential workers, such as emergency personnel, teachers and school staff, people 65 years old and older, including several others. Those decisions will be made by the Iowa Department of Public Health, with guidance from the federal government. Hear more from Marion County Public Health Director Kim Dorn on an upcoming In Depth.