NEWS: COVID-19 vaccine in Oskaloosa (copy)

A nurse draws a COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna from a vile in this Dec. 23, 2020 file photo.

OSKALOOSA — As cases continue to rise, the Iowa Department of Public Health says the state has one of the highest vaccine administration rates in the country.

Numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm the claim, with Iowa’s rate distributed per capita the 19th highest in the nation, when including states and territories.

A new report from the Iowa Department of Public Health Monday says there have been 91,501 doses of the vaccine administered in the state, as of Sunday. There have been 85,382 receive their first shot, and 5,652 have received both shots.

Both COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved require two doses to be effective.

The CDC has been releasing data for several days, but the new releases from the state public health department provide county-level detail. The state says they will update numbers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“We are working to bring a more robust and dynamic dashboard of our vaccine progress online in the coming weeks,” IDPH interim director Kelly Garcia said. “Iowans can expect to see additional data points that will clearly illustrate the progress we are making in vaccinating Iowans.”

There have been 389 doses administered to Mahaska County residents, and 890 to Marion County residents. So far, four Mahaska County residents and 11 Marion County residents have received both shots of the vaccine.

In Iowa, groups in the so-called phase 1A are the only ones able to receive the vaccine. This includes health care personnel as well as residents and staff in long-term care facilities. The state is still working on its distribution plan, and promises more information in the coming weeks.

The CDC reports that nearly 9 million Americans have received the first dose of the vaccine as of Monday morning. There have been about 25.5 million doses distributed.

The vaccinations continue while the virus keeps spreading its effects across the state.

There were 425 new cases of the coronavirus reported in Iowa between Sunday and Monday, with just 1,636 individuals tested in that period. There were six new cases in Marion County and one in Mahaska County.

Iowa reported just one new death on Monday.

Hospitalizations rose slightly to 555 statewide. There were 96 in an intensive care unit. The last 24 hours saw 74 new admissions.

As more vaccines are manufactured and distributed, health officials say continuing efforts to mitigate virus spread remain important. Those efforts include wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, clean hands frequently with soap and water, and stay home when feeling sick.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Oskaloosa Herald and the Ottumwa Courier. He can be reached at kocker@oskyherald.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Group Editor

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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