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University of Iowa epidemiologist worried about Iowa vaccination rate

IOWA CITY — COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa hit a record low of 46 in late June — but they have been increasing in the past month — and were reported at 158 this week.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics epidemiologist Melanie Wellington says she’s concerned Iowa is headed towards a surge in hospitalizations like the one in Missouri. “Community transmission is definitely on the rapid rise, and vaccination in the state remains relatively low,” according to Wellington. “And that is a recipe for a lot of people getting infected — and those who are not vaccinated at high risk for being hospitalized.”

Wellington says she’s more worried about those who are not vaccinated than she is of the threat of COVID variants. “The vaccines are still very effective at preventing most diseases, most infections, and certainly almost all severe diseases and hospitalizations. The vaccine is still really more important than ever,” Wellington says.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says 61 percent of adult Iowans are fully vaccinated.

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