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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

VERIFY: Why Iowa's vaccine distribution plan differs from other states

The White House and CDC left it up to states to decide how to distribute the vaccine, so each plan will be different.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Local 5's VERIFY inbox continues to fill up with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa and the state's plan to distribute it. 

Many have asked how they can sign up to get the vaccine in Iowa. Here's the thing: you just can't sign up for it

The vaccine is only being distributed to health care workers and long-term care residents and staff right now. 

Our source is the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Why are there long lines to get the vaccine in other states but nothing in Iowa? 

The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) left vaccination plans up to individual states, so each state's distribution plan is going to look different. 

The IDPH's December draft plan for the vaccine says the state is in Phase 1 of vaccine distribution, meaning there are limited doses of the vaccine available, so only those in Phase 1 are able to be vaccinated currently. 

According to the state, Phase 2 will be when there is a large number of vaccine doses available. 

When this happens, the IDPH will set up points of distribution (PODs) to those left in Phase 1 as well as the general population. 

So while other states may have long lines of people wanting to get their vaccine, it may take a while for that to happen here in Iowa. 

How many Iowans have been vaccinated so far? When will the state include that information on their website?

As of Jan. 3, 54,755 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state, according to the IDPH. 

Last month, the state announced they will post vaccine updates to the coronavirus website soon. Local 5 reached out for an update, and the IDPH said they are still working to get the dashboard published.

The IDPH anticipates the dashboard to be up in the next few weeks.

For now, the IDPH said the CDC has a vaccine tracker that includes information on allocations and vaccines administered in the state. 

However, there may be discrepancies between what the IDPH reports and what the CDC reports in terms of doses administered since the data is published at different times.