COVID-19 illustration

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

OTTUMWA — The number of Iowans receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is beyond 28% according to state data on Tuesday.

However, cases of the coronavirus continue to add up, with 588 new cases and four new deaths reported on Tuesday.

Iowa has distributed about 1.4 million doses. That’s enough to have completed vaccine sequences in 17% of the state’s population, or 544,409 Iowans. That includes Iowans who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires just one dose, as well as Iowans who have completed regimes for vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, which require two doses.

The vaccine by Johnson & Johnson was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration on an emergency basis on Feb. 27. Since then, there have been 38,839 doses of it administered in Iowa.

Wapello County has completed vaccination series for 16% of its residents as of Tuesday, or a total of 5,589. Another 3,107 have received their first dose.

The number of residents receiving all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in area counties include 2,301 in Jefferson, 1,848 in Appanoose, 1,463 in Monroe, 1,263 in Davis, and 876 in Van Buren.

There were 5 new cases in Wapello County reported. Updated data also included 2 new cases in Van Buren, 1 in Appanoose and 1 in Davis.

The number of Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 decreased to 186 as of Tuesday morning. There were 45 in an intensive care unit.

Out of Courier area counties, the 14-day test positivity rate was highest in Wapello County at 5.5%. It was lowest in Jefferson County at 1.4%.

The state’s 211 hotline announced Tuesday that it is expanding access to its vaccine navigators to all Iowans currently eligible that have barriers to scheduling vaccine appointments or lack access to the internet.

In Iowa, everything age 65 and older as well as those between the ages of 16 and 64 with an underlying health condition, are eligible to receive the vaccine. Though some counties in the state have already opened up access to all Iowans.

The 211 hotline provides vaccine navigators who can help those without internet access schedule appointments with Hy-Vee over the phone. Navigators are available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dial 211 or 1-800-244-7431 and select vaccine prompt number 9.

There is no cost to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, though many providers ask for a recipient's insurance card or Medicare card.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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