New vaccination site in Dubuque

Jon Quinn (TheLorian)

The Dubuque County Board of Health approved the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team’s request to lease vacant space at Kennedy Mall in Dubuque to operate an indoor COVID-19 vaccination point of distribution for Phase 1B vaccinations. Phase 1B includes all county residents above the age of 65 and specific high-risk populations. Additionally, three cases of the B.1.1.7 variant has been confirmed in Iowa. This variant is also known as the UK variant. According to epidemiologic and modeling data, researchers believe that this strain can spread more easily than the original strain.

Preparations at the site will begin immediately with the goal of opening the site to appointments for vaccinations beginning mid-February and as vaccine allocations become more available. The location selected for the community point of distribution clinic is the former Yonkers women’s store on the north side of Kennedy Mall in Dubuque. The location was selected by a committee of county incident management team members and representatives from the local healthcare providers approved to administer vaccines. The indoor location provides adequate space and convenient parking, is accessible by public transportation, and is a known location to most county residents.

The clinic will operate as a joint vaccination site for multiple local healthcare providers who will offer their patients COVID-19 vaccinations at the site by appointment only. Appointments will be required for all COVID-19 vaccinations. “Walk-ins” will not be accepted. County residents age 65 and over will be contacted by their healthcare provider when vaccines are available and vaccination appointments can be scheduled. Detailed information on how to schedule appointments will be provided by each healthcare provider.

This will be a phased approach and the timeline will be determined by vaccine availability. It is estimated there are over 18,000 county residents age 65 and over and Dubuque County’s vaccine allocations have been averaging less then 1,000 per week. However, a 16 percent increase in allocations is expected over the next few weeks.

In the last three days of January, there were a total of about 60 new cases, 25 recoveries, and 10 deaths. The state of Iowa totaled about 3,000 new cases, 750 recoveries, and 225 deaths according to Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team. The 14-day positivity rate in Dubuque is at 9.8 percent, which is roughly 15 percent lower than where it was in late November. No new records have been set.

The timetable has been accelerated to allow for an increase of allocations beginning the week of Feb. 1, and continuing through the week of Feb. 15, according to Iowa Department of Health. The state of Iowa will receive 19,500 Pfizer vaccines and 25,800 of Moderna vaccines. IDPH also learned this week that approximately 64,000 doses of vaccine, originally allocated to the Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership Program, can be redistributed to the state’s priority populations. These doses will be sent directly to a limited number of stores to vaccinate individuals 65 years and older. IDPH will provide additional information on this opportunity soon.

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Jon is currently a junior who is double-majoring in Media Studies and Public Relations. He is heavily involved at Loras as a campus photographer, residential adviser, and a sports editor for the school newspaper, The Lorian.

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