April 22, 2021

Across the state COVID-19 vaccine qualifications expand

The state of Iowa has changed who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

As of March 8, individuals 64 and younger with medical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are now eligible, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. For information about those conditions, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://bit.ly/3ttPZgN.

Greater Regional Health

Greater Regional Health is allowing anyone over the age of 65, or individuals under the age of 64 with underlying health conditions to join its waiting list one of two ways:

• Online by visiting greaterregional.org and clicking on ‘Register for COVID-19 Vaccination Waiting list.” Even though the list is labeled “65+ Waiting List,” the wait list is open to those who meet the current CDC guidelines.

• Alternatively, individuals who meet the guidelines may call GRH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 641-745-0124.

Those who sign up through GRH’s online waiting list are contacted on a “first come, first served” by Union County Public Health when a vaccine is available. A number of Union County residents have reported that they were contacted to schedule an appointment two days after joining the list.

Creston Hy-Vee

Creston Hy-Vee is also hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Currently, any individuals 65 and above, or individuals under 64 with underlying health conditions, can schedule appointments online at hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/covid-vaccine.

Christina Gayman, director of public relations at Hy-Vee, said Hy-Vee receives its vaccines directly from the CDC, which are then divided up and distributed to its pharmacy locations. In Creston, its weekly allotment allows for vaccines of 50 to 100 people. However, some weeks those allotments are used to provide time-sensitive second doses, which limits appointment times for those seeking their first dose.

Gayman said vaccine arrivals are typically received midweek and announced via Facebook, but recommends those seeking vaccines to check Hy-Vee’s website.

“I would say, check midweek, check midday. That’s my recommendation,” said Gayman. “We’re not asking anyone to go online at all hours of the night.”

Medicap

Update: Around 2 p.m. today, March 16, Medicap announced via Facebook it will be receiving a small shipment of Moderna vaccines March 17. Anyone 18 and over with pre-existing conditions are eligible. Call 641-782-6558, option 0 to make an appointment. The post will be taken down when all appointments have been filled.

Clarke County

After learning of the availability of vaccines in Clarke County, some residents reported to the CNA they were able to secure appointments within one week. Currently, Clarke County Hospital is directing individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccine to its vaccine hotline at 641-342-5085 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

(Update as of 2 p.m. March 16: All Clarke County vaccine appointments have been filled. The appointment line will begin taking appointments as soon as more vaccines are received.)

As with all county public health locations, appointments will be scheduled based vaccine doses allotted to each county by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Additional assistance

For Iowans over the age of 65 or those who lack technology or struggle to schedule an appointment online, call 2-1-1 to schedule with a vaccine navigator. The Helpline Center at 211 has partnered with Hy-Vee across the state to help connect individuals with available vaccines.

COVID-19 update

In her report Monday to the Union County Board of Supervisors, Union County Public Health Nurse Robin Sevier said public health administered 517 vaccine doses last week.

Supervisor Rick Friday asked why Hy-Vee is able to get vaccines when the county is still limited on the number of doses it is receiving. Sevier responded that she does not know how many doses Hy-Vee is getting or how they are able to do so.

This morning, a message left with Hy-Vee Corporate was returned within 30 minutes. It’s public relations director shared that she believes Greater Regional/Union County Public Health receives their doses from the Iowa Department of Public Health, whereas Hy-Vee receives their doses directly from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Union County’s 14-day positivity rate is now at 4.2% with two new cases over the weekend. Sevier did not provided the total number of cases and how many have recovered.



SARAH SCULL

Sarah Scull is a San Diego transplant now living in Creston, Iowa. Sarah joined the Creston News Advertiser editorial staff as a reporter in in 2012 and was promoted to editor in November 2018.