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Council makes recommendations for first group of Iowans to get vaccine

The council also took into account the reduction in doses allotted for Iowa from the federal government.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The first guidance from the state-created council identified health care personnel and residents of long term care facilities to be he highest priority for the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Dec. 18, Iowa's Infectious Disease Advisory Committee issued recommendations to the interim Director of Iowa Department of Public Health for approval. 

The first vaccines to arrive in Iowa must go to health care personnel and residents of long term care facilities, including nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities, IDAC members recommended.

The council noted health care personnel are defined as "paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials."

When there is limited use of vaccine among staff, the council recommended leaders take into account vaccinating workers who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 and the highest risk of complications; the frequency of exposure and duration of exposure to COVID-19 patients; and which staff members are essential to maintaining continued patient care.

Below is the table in the document of recommendations the council references as staff needing the vaccine.

Credit: IDAC

The council also noted, "As vaccine supplies increase in availability, local public health and health care facilities should consider a tiered approach specific to each county or facility for vaccinating remaining health care personnel defined in Phase 1A."

Phase 1B recommendations are expected to come out this week.

The IDAC meetings are held in private and discussions are not made public until after the meetings have happened.

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