WATERLOO — Black Hawk County residents ages 65 and older can expect calls from health care providers about when they can get COVID-19 vaccines, Health Department Director Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye announced Tuesday.
The health care providers include UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital, MercyOne Northeast Iowa and Peoples Community Health Clinic. Egbuonye said state officials anticipate more COVID-19 vaccine in the middle of February. People will be asked to schedule appointments to get vaccinated, and walk-in requests will not be accepted.
“Do know, behind the scenes, we’re moving as fast as we can in terms of planning and also communication so that everybody is aware of what’s going on,” Egbuonye said.
County health officials plan to split the number of its COVID-19 vaccine allocations in half, with 50% going to people 65 and older and the other 50% going to essential workers. The strategy falls in line with state recommendations.
The state’s next recommended priority group includes people 75 and older, manufacturing workers, some educators, childcare workers and first responders, among others.
Egbuonye said pharmacies plan to vaccinate essential workers, and health care systems will handle the older population. She said pre-existing conditions will not be a factor in determining who gets the vaccine first, noting that gathering documentation to provide conditions could make the process “too complicated.”