DES MOINES, Iowa — While there is now a plan in place for who can be vaccinated next, the Iowa AARP says there is still a long way to go to speed up the distribution process so Iowa can stack up against other states.
When we look at neighboring states, Minnesotans over the age of 65 are eligible to get a vaccine. In Wisconsin people 65 and older can get vaccinated on January 25th. The Iowa AARP says they are glad Iowa is finally catching up with other Midwest states.
“Iowa was, we were a little late to the game on urging vaccination for those over 65. But the good news is we’re there, and they come February 1. They will be made a priority and. And that’s something that we advocated for a while and we’re glad to see,” Iowa AARP State Director Brad Anderson said.
But some folks over 65 in Polk County don’t have to wait until February 1st to be vaccinated.
“So, we know that we have vaccine available right now. And when we have vaccine available, we are going to reach out to the next group that is available to receive the vaccine. So that is why we are reaching out now, to individuals over the age of 65 to get vaccinated,” Polk County Health Department Communications Officer Nola Ainger Davis said.
Appointments can be made online and will only be available when vaccines are available.
“We know those are the folks that need to be vaccinated you know they’re the people that are, are dying from COVID-19. And they are at most risk for serious health conditions, so it is really important to vaccinate that group as quickly as possible,” Anderson said.
The Iowa AARP said getting people vaccinated is the most important thing but said some of the communication surrounding the distribution is confusing. That’s why they are asking the state to improve their 211-call system.
“You know right now, even calling 211 may not get you the answer you’re looking for and so we want to make sure that that 211 line is efficient, the 211 line is well staffed. And when people do call that line. They get an answer quickly. And the answer they get is the one that they’re looking for,” Anderson said.
For more information about vaccine appointments in Polk County… go to polkcountyiowa.gov