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Northwest Iowa Counties Again Rejecting New Coronavirus Vaccine Shipments

Most Northwest Iowa counties declined new vaccine allotments this past week, as demand for the vaccine is apparently beginning to fall below supply. 

Woodbury, Sioux, Ida, Sac, Lyon, Clay, O'Brien, Buena Vista, Dickinson and Crawford counties all declined some or all new vaccine shipments from the state this past week. In all, 43 of Iowa's 99 counties turned down vaccine supply -- twice the number of counties that declined new vaccine the week prior. 

Iowa has asked the federal government to withhold more than one-quarter of its allotment of coronavirus vaccines this week because demand for the shots has waned across the state.

The Iowa Department of Public Health told The Des Moines Register on Saturday that the state declined to accept 18,300 of 34,300 doses of Moderna vaccine it was slated to receive this week, and 3,510 of 46,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine.

Backers of a measure to steeply increase criminal penalties for protest-related crimes say it will bring Iowans more peace and protect law abiding citizens. Opponents say it would have a chilling effect on free expression and disproportionately punish Black Iowans

The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa legislative measure, supported by the state's Republican lawmakers, would set forth stiffer penalties for rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal mischief. It would also grant civil immunity for some drivers who strike protesters while trying to leave the area of an unlawful protest. 

Lawmakers are expected to send the measure to Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, within the coming weeks as they work to conclude their annual legislative session. The protest-related sections of the bill would take effect as soon as it is signed. 

Iowa is among a wave of Republican-led states considering new laws to strengthen punishment for protest-related crimes in the wake of widespread demonstrations after George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. The former officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder and manslaughter charges this month. 

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