Leftover COVID-19 vaccine will go to Walgreens and CVS stores for distribution in select Iowa counties, rather than to educators, as several Iowa school districts had requested.
A one-time allotment of 64,000 doses, remaining from the Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership program, will be available for Iowans ages 65 and up, beginning Feb. 3, 2021.
Sarah Ekstrand, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said that vaccine will go to 32,000 Iowans ages 65 and up, for the two-dose series.
She did not say if the school district request, sent Feb. 1 to Governor Kim Reynolds, was considered.
Cedar Rapids Community School District Superintendent Noreen Bush; College Community Superintendent Doug Wheeler, Linn-Mar Superintendent Shannon Bisgard, Marion Independent Superintendent Janelle Brouwer and Xavier Catholic Schools Superintendent Kim Hermsen signed the letter, asking that the leftover vaccine be allocated to pre-Kindergarten to 12th-grade educators, which are among priority vaccine groups.
The letter was sent in light of Republican legislation that requires an option for fulltime return to classrooms beginning this month.
“With the February 15, 2021, deadline for 100% in-person learning option fast approaching, you have shown the public that returning students to fully in-person instruction is a state priority,” the letter states. “In this context and on behalf of our 6,365 metro area educational employees, we urge you to place full priority on protecting our preK-12 school students, their families and our staff by reallocating these additional doses to immediately vaccinate school staff across the state.”
As of Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, Iowa has reported 321,536 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,975 Iowans having died of coronavirus in less than one year.
At least 16 teachers in Iowa have died due to COVID-19, according to media reports.
Iowa has received 415,325 vaccine doses, as of the latest information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, with Iowa reporting having administered 263,248 doses.
Nationwide, 55.9 million doses of vaccine have been distributed, according to the CDC, with 33.9 million doses administered. As of Feb. 3, 2021, the CDC reported that 445,264 Americans have died of COVID-19.