Where Iowa’s Neighbors Are At With Vaccine Eligibility

States shaded by vaccination rate

Monday marked the first day all Iowans aged 16 and older can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, joining its neighboring Midwestern states that have this week expanded pools of qualifiers. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden pushed forward the national deadline for all American adults to become eligible.

With the final stage of Iowa’s vaccination plan now open, reports indicate that demand is heavily increasing. Around 21% of Iowa is fully vaccinated as of April 5, according to NPR data, with about 33% having received at least one dose—the state only trails its western neighbor South Dakota compared to other bordering states in fully vaccinating their populations.

This comes as South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri have also moved to complete or more inclusive vaccine eligibility and Biden on Tuesday announced that he’s moving up the date that all adults can schedule their shots from May 1 to April 19.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is available for all ages, including those 16 years and older. Both the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna vaccines are only allowed for those 18 years and older.

Here’s how vaccine eligibility looks in other states:

South Dakota

South Dakota leads the pack of Iowa’s neighbors who have been able to vaccinate their populations. NPR data shows that a quarter of the state is fully inoculated, while 37.8% has received one shot.

On Monday, South Dakota also opened vaccine eligibility in the state to anyone 16 years or older.

The governor, Republican Kristi Noem, who has taken a lax approach to COVID restrictions during the pandemic, also received the vaccine on April 5.


Iowa’s northern neighbor Minnesota is tied with the state in fully vaccinating their populations, NPR data finds as of April 5. 21.7% of Minnesota is fully vaccinated, while 34.7% of the state has received one shot.

Anyone 16 years or older in Minnesota have been able to get their vaccine since last Tuesday.


Wisconsin is the next of Iowa’s neighboring states who have fully vaccinated their population. The April 5 NPR data shows that 21.3% of Wisconsin is fully vaccinated, while 35.3% has gotten one dose.

Joining Iowa and South Dakota, Wisconsin also opened vaccine eligibility on April 5 to anyone 16 or older in the state.


NPR data finds that as of April 5, about 20.8% of Nebraska’s population is fully vaccinated, while 33.3% have received one shot.

As of Monday, pharmacies and health departments in Nebraska had the option to open up vaccine eligibility to any residents 16 or older.

Pharmacies that participate in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program have already opened eligibility to anyone 18 and older.


In Illinois, NPR data finds that 18.5% of Illinois’ population is fully vaccinated, while 34.5% have received one shot.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced that all residents over the age of 16 outside of Chicago would be eligible next week.

In 80 Illinois counties, this expansion to 16 year-olds and older is already in place, authorized by local health departments. This is most of the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Chicago, located in Cook County, currently only has vaccinations open for essential workers and residents with certain underlying conditions. The city has said it “likely won’t expand to all residents 16 and older with the state on April 12.”


Missouri is the least vaccinated of Iowa’s neighbors, NPR data finds. Only 17.6% of the state is fully vaccinated, with 28.5% of Missourians having received one shot.

This Friday, the state announced that it will move into its final phase of vaccine distribution, allowing for all residents 16 or older to get the vaccine.


by Isabella Murray
Posted 4/7/21

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