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When can I be vaccinated?

COVID vaccination questions answered

WASHINGTON — Washington County Public Health has answered a few questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and when people can expect to be vaccinated.

“Guidance is changing quickly, and we understand that’s confusing. But we’re trying to stay on top of new information as it comes out,” said Public Health Director Danielle Pettit-Majewski.

Has Public Health received the vaccine?

• Yes — the first shipment arrived on Dec. 22. Manufacturer is Moderna.

Has Public Health started vaccinating people?

• Yes — we have started vaccinating those individuals in the 1A priority group.

Is Public Health vaccinating the long-term care residents?

• No — those residents and workers are being vaccinated through pharmacy agreements and not by Public Health.

When can I be vaccinated?

• The recommendations are set by the federal government based on availability of vaccine and clinical trial outcomes.

• Public Health does not have control over priority groups.

• Phase 1A will include long-term care residents, long-term care workers and health care workers with direct patient care.

• Public Health will have direct contact with local providers to schedule vaccinations.

When will new priority groups be established?

• As more vaccine becomes available, the priority groups will be opened up by the state.

• The recommendations are set by the federal government based on availability of vaccine and clinical trial outcomes

• Public Health does not have control over priority groups.

Will there be additional phases of vaccine rollout?

• Yes.

• Phase 1B (list is below).

• Phase 1C is anticipated to include additional essential workers, individuals aged 65-74 and those aged 18-74 with high-risk medical conditions.

• Priority group criteria is established by the federal government and may change.

• Public Health does not have control over priority groups.

Who is included in Phase 1B?

• Persons aged 75 years and older or the following populations:

• First responders (firefighters, police officers, dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers).

• School staff, early childhood education and child care workers.

• Individuals with disabilities living in home settings who are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff, if not otherwise vaccinated under Phase 1A.

• Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated.

• Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings.

• Inspectors responsible for health, life and food production safety.

• Government officials engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during legislative session.

I do not fall into any of the priority groups. When can I be vaccinated?

• By mid-2021 there should be enough vaccine available for anyone who wants it.

• Public Health does not have control over priority groups.

I have had COVID. Am I eligible for the vaccine?

• Yes, if you meet the criteria below:

• You fall into a specified priority group and

• You are not actively ill (meaning in quarantine, isolation, or showing signs of symptoms).

I have had COVID. Is there a waiting period to receive the vaccine?

• No, however, you will need to meet criteria for a specified priority group, not be actively ill (meaning in quarantine, isolation, or showing signs of symptoms), and check with your physician

Is Public Health the only provider of vaccine in Washington County?

• Yes, at this time.

Do you have a waiting list for the vaccine?

• No. As new priority groups become effective, Public Health will communicate who meets the criteria.

When will our children be vaccinated?

• At this time, Pfizer is approved for individuals 16 years of age and older. Moderna is approved for those 18 years of age and older. At this time, we don’t know when a vaccine will be approved for children.

After I get vaccinated, will I still have to wear a mask or be quarantined after COVID exposure?

• At this time, there will be no change to our current public health recommendations for those who have been vaccinated. We’d still recommend you wear a mask around those not in your household, social distance and quarantine post-exposure.

Where is the most up-to-date information on the vaccine?

• Our website (washph.com). There are links to Iowa Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Washington County Public Health Facebook page.

• State of Iowa dashboard, https:\\coronavirus.iowa.gov.

• The Southeast Iowa Union and KCII radio.