Phase 1B Expected to Begin in February; Public Health Waiting on VaccineJanuary 20, 2021
*** EDIT: As of January 21, 2021, Phase 1B is now persons aged 65 and older. ***
Atlantic, IA — Iowa’s Infectious Disease Advisory Council provided recommendations to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) about the Phase 1B prioritization for COVID-19 vaccination.
Phase 1B includes persons aged 75 years or older, or the following populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness:
• Individuals with disabilities living in home settings whom are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff, if not otherwise vaccinated under Phase 1A.
• Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state and city or county operated facilities.
• Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings, not covered by the first two bullets, including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. College dormitories shall not be included as part of Phase 1B.
• Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers whom work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing. For example, working in a meatpacking or manufacturing production line or migrant workers whom live in bunkroom style housing.
• PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Sub-prioritization should consider persons who work with younger and at-risk children in care, to better ensure child-wellbeing and mitigate impact to parent workforce.
• First responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers).
• Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety, including those in hospital and long-term care settings, child, and food production safety.
• Government officials, including staff, to ensure continuity of government, engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.
“At this time, IDPH expects to begin vaccinating 1B populations in February,” said Cass County Public Health Director Beth Olsen. “We do not have vaccines yet for 1B, and we do not know when we will receive our first shipment, but we will keep updating the public as we receive more information.”
If individuals meet the 1B eligibility criteria, they should complete the survey at casshealth.org/covidvaccine or call 712-243-3250 and press 7. Cass County Public Health is collecting contact information for those who want to receive the vaccine.
“While we are waiting to hear when and how much vaccine we will receive, we can at least begin to keep a list of people who are eligible and want it. Then, as we are able to plan our public clinics, we can call and schedule these people,” said Olsen.
Until vaccine is widely available to all, which may be sometime around mid-2021, it is crucial that Iowans continue to practice the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
• Wearing a mask or face covering
• Practice social distancing with those outside your household
• Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
• Stay home if you feel sick
For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus/Vaccine and follow IDPH on Facebook (@IowaDepartmentofPublicHealth) and Twitter (@IAPublicHealth).