Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country and locally, Linn County has closed most buildings to the public to help reduce community spread of the virus and to help ensure continuity of County services.
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COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Learn more.
It is the role of Linn County Public Health (LCPH) to plan for and respond to pandemics, along with our response partners. When vaccine is available, it is LCPH’s job to work with community partners to identify where to direct any available vaccine within the county, and ensure it is given appropriately.
LCPH works with providers to allocate vaccine, but does not oversee their appointment process. Local providers have their own process for contacting patients and making vaccine appointments:
LCPH must be able to change plans quickly to meet state and federal guidelines. LCPH does not control how much vaccine is available to the county. In some cases, local health departments also give vaccine.
Our current vaccination strategies include allocating vaccine to local health care providers, pharmacies, and holding clinics for targeted populations. With the current amount of vaccine Linn County is receiving, this strategy is working efficiently. We are fortunate in Linn County to have many health care providers, which can work directly with their patients to offer vaccine. Health care providers are trusted sources of accurate information, and can help to provide information to their patients about vaccinations.
As vaccine supply increases, we are prepared to hold larger, public clinics for eligible populations in addition to current methods of vaccine distribution. We know it will be important to offer a variety of methods for people to receive vaccine, as there is not one option that is best for everyone. The model we have used for clinics for targeted populations has helped us prepare for larger scale, public clinics. There are logistics and cost considerations, such as location, supplies, and staffing; however the primary reason for not doing larger clinics are due to vaccine supply and the robust capacity of our local vaccine providers.
Subscribe to receive local COVID-19 Status Updates by using our NotifyMe tool and selecting "COVID-19 Status Update" under the News Flash category. View a step by step Instructional Video on how to subscribe. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 website, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned to local news outlets for current information.
Yes. There are many benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine when offered to you. Learn more.
Yes. Learn more.
COVID-19 vaccines are not currently approved for young children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not approved for people under the age of 16. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not approved for people under the age of 18. While COVID-19 vaccines are not currently approved for children, Moderna has begun clinical trials on children. Learn more.
There are many benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine when offered to you. Learn more
Licensed providers interested in dispensing vaccine must complete an application from the Iowa Department of Public Health to administer COVID-19 vaccine. To date, nearly 100 independent providers and organizations in Linn County have applied and been approved through the state to give COVID-19 vaccine with the current model of vaccine distribution.
More information will be shared as healthcare provider applications are completed and prepared for public roll out. Subscribe to receive local COVID-19 Status Updates by using our NotifyMe tool and selecting "COVID-19 Status Update" under the News Flash category. View a step by step Instructional Video on how to subscribe. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 website, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
The first 2 COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S. were messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines. Learn more about mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, here.
Yes. Health officials believe that the vaccines will offer protection against different COVID-19 variants. So far, studies suggest that the antibodies produced through vaccination with these currently authorized vaccines do recognize identified COVID-19 variants. Research is ongoing to fully understand these variants and how they affect vaccines. Learn more.
No. Learn more.
The first COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use in the U.S. require two doses. Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be given 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine should be given 28 days apart. The different vaccine products will NOT be interchangeable. The second dose must be completed with the same vaccine brand as the first dose received. A third - and most recently approved – COVID-19 vaccine is a single-shot vaccine. This Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require a second dose.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines currently approved for use in the U.S. use two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. A third - and most recently approved – COVID-19 vaccine is a single-shot vaccine. This Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require a second shot. Learn more.
No. Individuals who choose to be vaccinated will be given the same vaccine for both doses if they receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. These mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable with each other or with other COVID-19 vaccine products. The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.
Another - and most recently approved – COVID-19 vaccine is a single-shot vaccine. This Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not require a second dose.
As is the length of time someone who was ill with COVID-19 remains immune, how long COVID-19 vaccine gives someone immunity is also not yet known. As experts continue to study the vaccine, we will continue to learn more. However, building immunity from a vaccine is a much safer option. Learn more.
The protection someone gets from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies depending on the disease and from person to person. Since this virus is new, it is unknown how long natural immunity will last. As experts continue to study both the virus and the vaccines, we will continue to learn more. However, building immunity from a vaccine is a much safer option than to risk the complications from becoming ill from COVID-19.
At this time, experts do not know what percentage of people need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity to COVID-19. “Herd immunity” is when enough people have protection from either a previous infection, or have had a vaccination for that infection, to prevent the spread of an illness among the community. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Vaccination will help you from getting COVID-19, and is a safer way to build protection than becoming sick with COVID-19. However, the combination of getting vaccinated and following recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Local vaccine providers are working to make sure you receive your vaccine and will be patient in this process. A scammer may not be! Local vaccine providers are reaching out to eligible patients in multiple ways. This includes by mail, phone, text, email, or messaging such as MyChart to offer appointments. Vaccine providers will:
It is possible a vaccine provider will need to verify your social security number, leave a message, or send an email asking you to contact them.
Our local area agency on aging reported a scam in Iowa where someone calls to offer older Iowans the opportunity to buy a ticket to guarantee a space on the waiting list. The FBI has also warned the public to be aware of activities that indicate fraudulent activity. Learn more.