The Iowa Department of Public Health today is launching Vaccinate.Iowa.gov, a new website that provides information about vaccine priority populations and eligibility, resources available for Iowans age 65 and older, and answers to frequently asked questions about vaccine.
The site also hosts a locator tool where users can enter their zip code to find vaccine providers near them. Once a provider is selected, appointment scheduling will be done through the provider’s website or scheduling platform. Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa will start vaccinating essential workers and people with disabilities in early March.
Reynolds says she expects 70 percent of Iowans currently eligible for a vaccine to have received at least one dose by mid-March. Next in line are essential workers in areas like food processing, manufacturing and distribution, as well as Iowans with disabilities and the staff caring for them. That group could be 70 percent vaccinated by early April. The federal government is increasing its vaccine shipments to states, but demand is still far greater than supply.
Iowa Republican lawmakers advanced a bill this week that would reduce unemployment benefits starting next summer.
It would give less money to unemployed Iowans with multiple dependents, require claimants to wait a week to receive benefits and to take a new job that pays significantly less than their old one. The bill also cuts the period of time a worker can receive benefits if their workplace closes permanently. Democratic lawmakers say it’s cruel to cut benefits when there’s still so much economic uncertainty during the pandemic. The House and Senate Labor committees approved the bill this week