Let's get down to business. Everyone wants the most up to date information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, and HERE is where you can find it.
First, let’s start with a recap. Late December and early January the state of Iowa was in the process of working through Phase 1a of distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Frontline workers were in this group. What does that mean? People that have the most risk being in constant contact with those having COVID-19. Union County Public Health was excited to receive 400 doses back during the week of December 20th. Greater Regional Health employees along with long term care facilities and other frontline workers were vaccinated. (Take a peek at this video to see this in action.)
Iowa is still vaccinating people in Phase 1a, so you may hear people still getting their vaccines. In order to have received a vaccine in December/January individuals had to fall into one of the tiers.
With February coming up fast, Phase 1b of the vaccination process will begin. What does this mean and who does this include? This is where things get interesting.
Phase 1b is broken down in to 5 tiers (groups) that will be next in line.
1) Tier 1
a. First responders
b. People 65 and older
c. Prekindergarten-12 staff, early childhood education and childcare workers
2) Tier 2
a. Frontline essential workers in food, agriculture and manufacturing sectors who live or work in nonsocial distanced settings.
b. People with disabilities living in home settings and their direct care staff.
3) Tier 3
a. Government officials, including staff, doing business at the state Capitol
b. Staff and people living in congregate settings not covered by a previous phase or tier.
4) Tier 4
a. Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety.
5) Tier 5
a. Correctional facility staff and those incarcerated.
Now that we know the tiers. Let’s talk about some facts:
1. Greater Regional Health and Union County Public Health did not assemble this list of tiers, we just abide by it.
2. Not everyone in Phase 1b will get vaccinated right away. The supply and demand of the vaccine is why there are tiers to follow through.
3. The government has announced these populations can receive the vaccine beginning February 1st. That does not mean Union County Public Health has received their doses yet. Have other counties received theirs? Possibly. We are focused on Union County because this vaccination process is being run through the Union County Public Health with direction from Iowa Department of Public Health not Greater Regional Health. Greater Regional Health as a facility is helping distribute.
Okay now that we know what has happened in Union County and what WILL happen once the vaccine is received. What’s the process on how to receive it if you fit into one the tiers?
I need you to look at the tiers, if your job has landed you in one of the tiers, Union County Public Health will work with your employer to ensure your vaccination process. There will be no need to reach out to Union County Public Health.
Now if you looked at the tiers and you are 65 and older or a loved one is, this is where you read carefully. As of today January 29th, 2021, we DO NOT have the vaccine at Union County Public Health. We will know when we are getting the vaccine 2-3 days before the arrival date. When we receive it these actions will follow:
Union County Public Health in conjunction with Greater Regional Health will release the information of the vaccine being received and instructions on how to sign up for an appointment through these media outlets:
a. Creston News Advertiser
b. Afton Star Enterprise
c. KSIB radio
d. KSCI radio
e. KMA radio
f. Facebook (www.facebook.com/greaterregional)
i. Go and start following us now so you are in the know.
g. Twitter (@greaterregional)
h. Greater Regional Health website (www.greaterregional.org)
i. Please be familiar with the Greater Regional Health website under the COVID tab where we release up to date information regarding the status of the vaccine and what the public needs to do to be prepared.
i. This blog (tell your friends and family to subscribe)
Greater Regional Health and Union County Public Health have been working diligently and timely with the amount of communication we are receiving. Continue to have patience as we work through this process. If you want the vaccine, you will receive a vaccine, all in due time.
Stay tuned for more updates next week! Thanks for listening!