The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has authorized boosters of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for all adults age 18 and over. Prior to this authorization, eligibility had been limited to individuals age 65 and older and those who lived or worked in high risk environments.
Those who received a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are already eligible for a booster two months after their initial dose. To date, 74% of Iowans age 18 and over and 71% of Iowans age 12 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine. With the recent authorization of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine, over 31,000 Iowans in the 5-11 age group have also received their first vaccine.
While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus, and there is no way to tell in advance if a child will get a severe or mild case. After a natural infection, some children have developed a rare but serious disease that is linked to COVID-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). Since the beginning of the pandemic, 63 cases of MIS-C have been reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
One month into flu season, IDPH urges Iowans to get their flu vaccines as soon as possible. Flu activity in the state is still low, but cases have increased in the last week. Both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from these viruses. By getting vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19, we can prevent avoidable hospitalizations and help preserve health care resources for other needs, including illnesses, injuries and emergencies. Iowans with questions about vaccines for themselves or loved ones consult with their health care provider.
Getting vaccinated now will provide more protection in advance of winter holiday gatherings. Find vaccine providers here and here.