The Siouxland Community Health Center will be invited to join the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program in the next six weeks. This program directly allocates vaccines to supported health centers to ensure underserved communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 are equitably vaccinated.
The invitation was extended after 4th district Representative Feenstra and members of the Iowa House delegation sent a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lawmakers urged them to prioritize Iowa's federally qualified health centers in the next round of their program. Today, an additional 700 health centers were invited to participate in the next phase of the program, including those that provide services to rural populations.
Hispanic workers had most coronavirus infections at Iowa meatpacking plants last spring, according to an analysis by the Des Moines Register. The Register reports that The Iowa Department of Public Health shared data about outbreaks at beef, poultry and pork processing plants in the state through May 31, 2020.
The data shows that 6,131 workers at 26 plants had tested positive for the coronavirus at the time — more than one out of every four workers. The plants also reported 19 deaths.
Iowa has slipped in an annual state-by-state report that tracks the level of our public health emergency preparedness. Iowa had a score of just four out of a possible ten measures of preparedness for diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism. The state now ranks with 14 other states in the middle tier. Last year, Iowa was in the high tier.
Researchers say one problem is that Iowa cut its public health budget for the last several years. Funding for public health was either stable or increased in 43 states, while the report says Iowa cut that funding by 3% between fiscal years 2019 and 2020.