Ames Chamber of Commerce

Vaccine Distribution

HEALTH ADVISORY: Updated CDC Guidance on Quarantine of Fully Vaccinated Persons & Mask Use

(Feb. 12, 2021) - Read the full advisory

CDC guidance now states that fully vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings

Vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings should continue to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social distancing in healthcare settings.

Although not preferred, healthcare facilities could consider waiving quarantine for vaccinated inpatients and residents as a strategy to mitigate critical issues (e.g., lack of space, staff, or PPE to safely care for exposed patients or residents) when other options are unsuccessful or unavailable.

Phase 1-B Supplemental Vaccine Shortage Order

(Jan 21, 2021) - Read the full order

On January 21, 2020, the Iowa Department of Public Health expanded phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to include individuals aged 65 and up. All other guidelines have remained the same. 

Iowa Department of Public Health
Phase 1B Administration of COVID-19 Vaccine

(Jan. 11, 2021) - Read the full recommendation 

The Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) has reviewed the priority population recommendations of Phase 1b identified in the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidance issued December 20, 2020. IDAC offers the modifications and recommendations outlined below to assist vaccine providers in prioritizing Phase 1b populations. Upon activation of Phase 1b IDAC supports the continuation of vaccination efforts for individuals included in Phase 1A. IDAC will continue to discuss Phase 1C recommendations and expects to have an update this week.

In addition, IDAC strongly supports that no individual shall be restricted from obtaining vaccine based on residency or citizenship.

The following factors shall be considered when sub-prioritizing Phase 1b populations recommended by IDAC (noted below), while a vaccine shortage exists:

  1. Historical COVID-19 disease trends affecting the eligible populations.
  2. The risk of exposure, the risk of transmission, the risk of complications, the frequency of exposure, and the duration of exposure from COVID-19 for the eligible populations. Considerations should include congregate settings, workplace environmental controls, population density, and other factors that may impact risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19.
  3. Apply health equity considerations when prioritizing eligible populations. Considerations should include, but are not limited to access to health care, disparate health outcomes, socioeconomic status, insurance coverage, etc.

Phase 1B Priority Populations

Due to the current and short-term projections for vaccine allocation for Iowa, IDAC recommends the following, more narrowly defined, eligible populations for Phase 1b:

Persons aged > 75years, OR the following populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness:

  • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings whom are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff, if not otherwise vaccinated under Phase 1a.
  • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state and city or county operated facilities.
  • Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings, not covered by the first two bullets, including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. College dormitories shall not be included as part of Phase 1B.
  • Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers whom work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing. For example, working in a meatpacking or manufacturing production line or migrant workers whom live in bunkroom style housing.
  • PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Sub-prioritization should consider persons who work with younger and at-risk children in care, to better ensure child-wellbeing and mitigate impact to parent workforce.
  • First responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers).
  • Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety, including those in hospital and long-term care settings, child, and food production safety.
  • Government officials, including staff, to ensure continuity of government, engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.

Vaccine allocation strategy for Phase 1b, while a vaccine shortage exists:

  • 50% of the vaccine allocation shall be dedicated to priority age populations and individuals of all ages with co-morbidities.
  • 50% of the vaccine allocation shall be dedicated to the populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness.
  • Allocations shall be monitored and adjusted to ensure efficient and timely use of available vaccine doses.

Allocation of vaccine shall be based on available US Census population data, proportionate to the county. Exceptions and allocation adjustments will be made for priority groups IF the distribution of specific populations are inconsistent with US Census data. In addition, modifications in allocations may be taken to adjust for disproportionate workforce in less populated counties.


January 8, 2021

Iowa Department of Public Health: Vaccine for Business, Agriculture & Industry
Webinar Slides


(Jan. 4, 2021)

General Public

While other states have started vaccinating members of the general public, Iowa has not. We anticipate that the general public will have access to the vaccine in early spring but that will depend on vaccine allocations the state receives. We also anticipate that vulnerable populations, including elderly persons and people with significant underlying medical conditions, will receive priority. We are awaiting additional guidance from the federal and state government.

The public will be able to receive vaccine from Story County Public Health, pharmacies and their primary care physicians. Mary Greeley Medical Center will not administer vaccine for the general public. Currently, Story County Public Health is not taking appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations from the public, nor are we compiling names for a waiting list.

This is a complex, sometimes frustrating, process and we appreciate everyone’s patience. In the meantime, it is still essential for everyone to continue to wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash hands regularly.

Frontline Healthcare Workers/Long-Term Care Facilities

In Iowa, the COVID-19 vaccination process is currently focused on frontline healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and first responders that provide medical care. Story County Public Health is implementing CDC and IDPH guidance to provide vaccines to this group. This step in the vaccination process is not complete because Story County has not been allocated enough vaccine to take care of everyone in this group who wants to receive a vaccination. (Some counties have been able to complete this group because they are smaller and may not have substantial numbers of people in the targeted groups, such as frontline healthcare workers.)

Other Essential Workers

The next phase in the vaccination process will focus on essential workers that support critical services in our communities, such as non-medical first responders, school employees, and public works employees. Story County Public Health is developing plans to vaccinate this group. Once again, a lot depends on when we receive vaccine and how much.

Additional Resources

For information about the vaccine, including its effectiveness and safety, please refer to:

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