COVID-19 Vaccination Updates from Polk County Health Department
February 17, 2021
(Des Moines, IA) – On behalf of Polk County hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, we want to thank our community for their patience and understanding as we continue vaccinating individuals eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as efficiently as possible. Collectively, we are committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy.
We are asking the public to please be patient. We are grateful that our community is eager to receive vaccines, and we are excited to administer the vaccinations as we receive them. However, at this time, demand for the COVID-19 vaccine far exceeds supply. Each week, our hospitals, clinics and pharmacies receive different allocation amounts.
We enjoyed a large allocation in January which allowed us to vaccinate more people. This is unusual for our typical vaccine allocation. At this time, our priority is to focus on providing second doses. Limited first dose appointments are still being scheduled at clinics and select pharmacies.
With limited vaccine allocations, you may not receive your second dose of the Moderna vaccine on the exact day or week that it is due. While there may be a delay in receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, please be assured that the timing of your second dose will not compromise the effectiveness of your vaccination and you will not have to start the series over again. While it remains important to get your second dose of the Moderna vaccine, fortunately, individuals receive significant protection against the COVID-19 virus within 10 days of receiving your first dose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Moderna vaccines may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. If the second dose is administered within the 42-day interval, there is no need to restart the series. There is currently limited data on efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines if the second dose is administered beyond this window.
Healthcare clinics and pharmacies will continue to vaccinate the community based on state and local public health guidelines. The Polk County Health Department clinic plans to focus on second doses and assisting our seniors 65 years and older who do not have a primary care physician and need our help. If you are eligible based on age, your primary care provider will notify you via phone, direct mail and/or through your health system website portal when you are eligible to call and schedule an appointment. At this time, please refrain from reaching out to the clinics as they will be contacting their eligible patients.
When vaccine supply increases throughout our county, we will work quickly with our partners to add additional appointments. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to vaccinate our community!