Very frustrated Polk County officials address shortage of COVID-19 vaccines – KCCI Des Moines

Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly said county officials are frustrated by a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses and changing state recommendations on who should get the vaccine.“We are very frustrated because we have had many of the process and procedures in place to vaccinate a large number of people, but we simply don’t have enough vaccines and health department staff is working around the clock to administer the small amount of vaccine that we have,” Connolly said. “We were surprised when the recommendation was made to open availability to people 65 plus without an increase in supply and we weren’t ready. And I’m apologizing for this but make no mistake, we take care of our seniors.”Polk County will move into phase 1B of the vaccine rollout on Monday. This phase will allow those who are 65 or older, first responders, K through 12 staff, and child care workers to set an appointment to get vaccinated.The vaccine is allocated on a weekly basis. County officials said next week, the allocated amount of vaccine will be about 7,000 for Polk County. For reference, there are 61,000 Polk County residents over 65 years old. Add on top of that the other part of the population that is now eligible to be vaccinated and it’s obvious this part of the rollout could take some time.Polk County Health Director Helen Eddy asked the public to be patient.“We are asking the public to be patient. At this time, the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine far exceeds our supply. Appointments are based upon available vaccine supply. They do not make appointments without having a shot attached to them,” Eddy said. “This process will take some time, but we will not stop until everyone who wishes to be vaccinated.”Eddy said what is currently limiting vaccination capacity is the short supply of vaccines, not the number of local vaccine providers.Eddy had further advice for those waiting for their turn to get the vaccine.“Health care clinics will start vaccinating patients based upon state and local public health guidelines. If you are eligible, based on your age, your primary care doctor will start notifying you via phone, direct mail and or through your health system website portal,” Eddy said.Eddy said the health department is fielding many questions about second vaccine doses.“I also want to address second doses. We’re getting many questions about those. You may go anywhere a vaccine is available to receive your second vaccination at the Polk County Health Department. You will be notified the week before your second dose is due,” Eddy said.Connolly said starting Monday, the Polk County Health Department will have a call center open during regular business hours to take phone calls from the seniors who need help, making an appointment for the vaccine to navigate the website, or they don’t have a computer. The number of procedures to use if they need help scheduling is 323-5221.“Please continue to use call 211 for answers to the general COVID questions, and this call center is reserved for mainly seniors who need help making their appointments, nurses will help them,” Connolly said.Polk County officials address shortage of COVID-19 vaccines

Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly said county officials are frustrated by a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses and changing state recommendations on who should get the vaccine.

“We are very frustrated because we have had many of the process and procedures in place to vaccinate a large number of people, but we simply don’t have enough vaccines and health department staff is working around the clock to administer the small amount of vaccine that we have,” Connolly said. “We were surprised when the recommendation was made to open availability to people 65 plus without an increase in supply and we weren’t ready. And I’m apologizing for this but make no mistake, we take care of our seniors.”

Polk County will move into phase 1B of the vaccine rollout on Monday. This phase will allow those who are 65 or older, first responders, K through 12 staff, and child care workers to set an appointment to get vaccinated.

The vaccine is allocated on a weekly basis. County officials said next week, the allocated amount of vaccine will be about 7,000 for Polk County. For reference, there are 61,000 Polk County residents over 65 years old. Add on top of that the other part of the population that is now eligible to be vaccinated and it’s obvious this part of the rollout could take some time.

Polk County Health Director Helen Eddy asked the public to be patient.

“We are asking the public to be patient. At this time, the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine far exceeds our supply. Appointments are based upon available vaccine supply. They do not make appointments without having a shot attached to them,” Eddy said. “This process will take some time, but we will not stop until everyone who wishes to be vaccinated.”

Eddy said what is currently limiting vaccination capacity is the short supply of vaccines, not the number of local vaccine providers.

Eddy had further advice for those waiting for their turn to get the vaccine.

Health care clinics will start vaccinating patients based upon state and local public health guidelines. If you are eligible, based on your age, your primary care doctor will start notifying you via phone, direct mail and or through your health system website portal,” Eddy said.

Eddy said the health department is fielding many questions about second vaccine doses.

“I also want to address second doses. We’re getting many questions about those. You may go anywhere a vaccine is available to receive your second vaccination at the Polk County Health Department. You will be notified the week before your second dose is due,” Eddy said.

Connolly said starting Monday, the Polk County Health Department will have a call center open during regular business hours to take phone calls from the seniors who need help, making an appointment for the vaccine to navigate the website, or they don’t have a computer. The number of procedures to use if they need help scheduling is 323-5221.

“Please continue to use call 211 for answers to the general COVID questions, and this call center is reserved for mainly seniors who need help making their appointments, nurses will help them,” Connolly said.

Polk County officials address shortage of COVID-19 vaccines