40 Iowa Infectious Disease Doctors Warn Vaccination Rates Not Enough

Photo by Christian Emmer

In the latest push for more Iowans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, 40 infectious disease physicians in Iowa put out a statement explaining the benefits.

Published in the Des Moines Register, the statement makes three key points that address the biggest concerns: the testing wasn’t rushed, the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness has been carefully reviewed, is still being monitored, and that vaccination will protect everyone in a person’s life.

According to state data, almost 1.5 million Iowans have been fully vaccinated, either with both doses or the single-dose vaccine. That makes about 45 percent of the population.

That number is far below what’s needed for herd immunity, the threshold where enough of a community is immune that every person in the community is protected.

Because COVID-19 is highly infectious, the number of people who need to be immune for community protection is bigger.

Iowa’s vaccination numbers peaked in March and April, especially because the state opened vaccines to everyone over 16 in April. Since then, the numbers have declined dramatically, as have the doses allocated to counties. In the last seven days, only 2,500 doses were distributed, in 10 counties.

In the statement, the physicians acknowledge that being wary of new medicine makes sense, but people don’t have to be worried about these vaccines.

The research behind them is decades-long, the testing followed the same steps as all vaccines and the results show these are the most effective vaccines ever created.

“People who get a COVID-19 vaccine are significantly less likely to get infected and nearly 100% protected from developing COVID-19 symptoms that are severe enough to result in hospitalization or death,” the statement reads. “The vaccines also provide excellent protection against the severest forms of disease caused by the many variants emerging around the globe.”

“Even though your decision to get vaccinated is a personal one, your decision may affect those around you. Getting vaccinated will make it far less likely that you will pass the virus on to your family, your friends and others in the community…”


by Nikoel Hytrek
Posted 6/29/21

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