Gov. Kim Reynolds said today that Iowans age 65 and older will be part of the next phase to receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Feb. 1, KCCI reported.

Reynolds said in a news conference that the state is receiving relatively few COVID-19 vaccines but is getting the doses out quickly. She said Iowa is only receiving about 19,500 doses per week, which places the state 46th nationally in doses allocated. However, it ranks 15th among the states in the pace of administering the doses. 

“As soon as our weekly vaccine allocation is received, it’s going out the door and into the arms of Iowans across the state,” she said. “We’ve now received more than 160,000 doses of vaccine and have administered more than 106,000 of them primarily to Iowa’s health care workforce.”

As of Wednesday, 82% of the first doses allocated to the state have “been used to protect those who have been providing care to Iowans since the beginning of the pandemic,” and more than 22,000 health care workers in Iowa have received their second doses of the vaccine and are now fully vaccinated, according to the governor. 

Reynolds announced that despite delays in receiving vaccine doses, the state is prepared for the next phase of vaccine administration. “So, beginning February, Iowans age 65 and older will be eligible for vaccination. And this accounts for more than 500,000,” she said.

Reynolds said in the next phase, Tier 1B, law enforcement and first responders, pre-K-12 teachers and staff, early childhood educators and child care workers can begin vaccination at local pharmacies or clinics. That accounts for approximately 130,000 Iowans.

“While we’re excited to begin vaccinating a broader population of Iowans, I want to emphasize that the demand for the vaccine will vastly exceed our supply,” Reynolds said. 

“With our current allocation from the federal government at 39,000 per week beginning Feb. 9, this process is just going to take time,” she said. Each subsequent tier will be phased in as soon as possible according to the availability of the vaccines and where they’re at throughout the state.”

Reynolds said Tier 2 of vaccine administration will include front-line essential workers and individuals with disabilities living in a home setting. That accounts for approximately 600,000 individuals.

Tier 3 includes staff and individuals in congregate settings and also government officials and staff at the state Capitol, Reynolds said. That accounts for nearly approximately 13,000 people.

Tier 4 includes 1,500 inspectors responsible for health, life and safety, and Tier 5 consists of approximately 13,000 staff and incarcerated individuals in correctional facilities.

Reynolds said a new dashboard will be added to website next week to provide more data on vaccinations.