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Iowa Department of Public Health changes plan for delivering COVID vaccines

DES MOINES — An Iowa Department of Public Health administrator says the state is shifting its strategy for distributing COVID-19 vaccines as demand for the shot continues to decline.

Ken Sharp says the department is now advising vaccine providers to prioritize vaccinating individuals over wasting doses. That’s based on federal guidance. “Waste has become more acceptable and, in fact, a necessity, so that we can ensure the ongoing progress in getting individuals vaccinated,” Sharp says.

The state accepted less than one third of its COVID-19 vaccine allocation from the federal government this week. Sharp says counties have largely stopped mass vaccination clinics. “And we’re transitioning really to kind of focused small, we’ll call micro clinics, that are going into communities where they are meeting people where they are. And we’re seeing some very good progress there,” according to Sharp.

He says the state will also begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to all Iowa counties so they can vaccinate kids ages 12 to 17.

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