DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine may or may not get reduced, depending upon which government agency you ask. Wednesday night, the Iowa Department of Public Health sent out a statement warning that it had received notice that the state may lose as much as 30% of the vaccine supply that it previously anticipated. But Thursday morning, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services emailed WHO 13 and called that claim “incorrect.”
Governor Kim Reynolds previously said that she expected 172,000 doses of virus vaccine to arrive in the state by the end of December. The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Iowa this week and delivery of Moderna’s vaccine–if approved by federal authorities–could arrive as soon as Monday, according to Interim Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia.
Wednesday night, the Iowa Department of Public Health sent out this statement:
Today the federal government notified the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) that the State of Iowa, as well as all other states, will not receive the volume of vaccine initially anticipated. It appears our allocation may be reduced by as much as 30%, however we are working to gain confirmation and additional details from our federal partners. It will take us some time to work through next steps and adjust our planning.
We will provide updates as quickly as we are able to as we confirm additional information.
Thursday morning, a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services denied in an emailed statement that the state’s supplies of vaccine would be reduced:
“Reports that jurisdictions’ allocations are being reduced are incorrect. As was done with the initial shipments of Pfizer vaccine, jurisdictions will receive vaccine at different sites over several days. This eases the burden on the jurisdictions and spreads the workload across multiple days. This same process was successfully used for the initial distribution of Pfizer’s vaccine, and we are simply applying lessons learned. Operation Warp Speed is committed to delivering jurisdictions’ allocated vaccines according to their plans safely, quickly and efficiently.”
WHO 13 has requested further response from both federal and state authorities and will update this story.