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Nearly Half of Iowa Counties Turned Down Some COVID-19 Vaccine for This Week


This picture taken on November 17, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19. (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

DES MOINES, Iowa — When Iowa’s county health leaders turned in their requests for additional supplies of COVID-19 vaccine for this week, 43 of the 99 notified the state department of public health that they didn’t want their full allocation. That’s more than twice as many as those that turned down additional supply for the previous week.

The state health department did not disclose which of the 43 counties declined any additional vaccine supply and which ones requested a lesser amount than the full allocation.

(Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the 43 counties turned down some or all of their additional allocation, rather than the original story which said that all 43 counties declined all additional allocation of vaccine).

Here are the 43 counties that did not want the full amount of additional vaccine, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health:

  • Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Buena Vista, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clay, Clayton, Crawford, Des Moines, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Ida, Jackson, Jefferson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Louisa, Lyon, O’Brien, Palo Alto, Sac, Sioux, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Webster, Winnebago and Woodbury.

Here are the 20 counties that declined some of the additional vaccine for last week:

  • Adair, Cass, Clay, Crawford, Davis, Decatur, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Humboldt, Jackson, Jefferson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lyon, Osceola, Sac, Union, Webster, Winnebago, Woodbury.

The state department of public health reports that nearly 896,000 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which would represent approximately 43% of Iowa adults.

Sarah Ekstrand, IDPH public information officer, said in response to the 43 counties declining additional supply:

“It should be noted, that these counties are doing exactly what we have asked of them. That is, when a county cannot ensure the ability to administer all of the allocated doses, we ask them to decline doses so those doses can be allocated to areas of the state with a high demand. These counties will continue to receive a weekly allocation with the option to decline doses or accept doses as the need within each county may fluctuate. Counties also have the option of accepting a portion of their total allocation. We are working with counties and community leaders to determine where additional education and public awareness campaigns are needed to gain an understanding of the needs of each county’s unique population.”

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