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The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its plan for the COVID-19 vaccine which will initially prioritize residents of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers.

According to a press release, there are currently two products available from Pfizer and Moderna.

For Pfizer, clinical trials indicate 95% efficiency against the coronavirus, with two doses required 21 days apart. For Moderna, clinical trials indicate a 94.5% efficiency with two doses required 28 days apart.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently announced recommendations for the initial phases of a vaccination program. Vaccinations should first be offered to health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.

For Iowa, the CDC is allocating vaccines based on population size and target populations, expecting to release 26,000 units of Pfizer Dec. 13, 31,000 of Pfizer and 54,000 Moderna Dec. 20, 38,000 Pfizer and 24,000 Moderna by Dec. 27 for a total of 172,000 doses in the first three weeks of the rollout.

The release states it became clear that the most vulnerable population resides in a long-term care facility but part of the challenge in vaccinating this population is their workforce is already at capacity in responding to the pandemic.

As part of the program that Iowa has opted into, CVS Walgreens and Community Pharmacy will help in providing logistical support and workforce that will ensure vaccine access to rural communities, as these pharmacies can serve any long-term care facility within a 75-mile radius.

As of the week of Dec. 13, Iowa will receive its first allocation of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be distributed to six pre-positioned healthcare sites. The remaining doses will be held for long-term care partnership programs.

The week of Dec. 20, Iowa will receive a second allocation of Pfizer and first allocation of Moderna and the remainder by the week of Dec. 27.

Going forward, a team will convene to consult a team of experts, collectively known as the Infectious Disease Advisory Council, to provide additional clinical guidance. The group will include representation for rural/urban populations, hospital administration, infectious disease specialists, vulnerable populations in congregate settings, advocates for aging populations, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and refugees.

“The reason for this is to minimize health inequalities based on geography, poverty and other social determinants,” the release states. “This group will also provide input as additional vaccines become available, as well as therapeutics.”

The Department is also preparing for broader distribution as vaccine supply increases and there are currently 1,187 providers signed up to administer the vaccine with approximately 20-40 new applications submitted each day.