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Iowa officials rejected more than 21,000 vaccine doses as the state experiences a ‘slowdown’ in demand for shots

  • Officials in Iowa confirmed they rejected nearly 22,000 vaccine doses from the federal government.
  • The state rejected 18,300 Moderna vaccine doses and 3,510 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • A state spokesperson told the Des Moines Register Iowa has seen a “slowdown of vaccine administration.” 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Officials in Iowa rejected nearly 22,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government due to waning interest, state officials confirmed to the Des Moines Register.

According to the report, published Saturday, state officials rejected 18,300 Moderna doses of the 34,300 doses the state had expected to receive from the federal government. They also rejected some 3,510 Pfizer doses of the 46,800 they originally anticipated.

“Along with several other states, we are seeing a slowdown of vaccine administration, but we are working with our local partners and community leaders to determine where additional education is needed and to gain an understanding of the needs of each county’s unique population,” Sarah Ekstrand, a spokesperson for the state health department, told the Des Moines Register.

Read more: Uber and Lyft asked Congress to bail out their drivers. Now they can’t get enough drivers to come back to work.

According to CDC data, about 55% of the Iowa adult population is at least partially vaccinated against the disease.

There are growing concerns that vaccine hesitancy will slow the rate of vaccination in the US and prolong the effects of the pandemic. A Monmouth poll conducted earlier this month found 1 in 5 American adults were unwilling to get one of the shots.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full efficacy, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one shot for full vaccination. There are concerns that some people in the US are skipping out on the required second dose.

The US Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week gave the go-ahead to resume the single-shot J&J vaccinations after a pause that lasted just over a week while regulators examined the vaccine’s link to rare blood clots.

Health officials said the potential risk of rare blood clots, which impact women under the age of 50, does not outweigh the benefit of the vaccine. The CDC said they found about 15 cases of these blood clots in the roughly 8 million doses of the J&J vaccine that have been administered nationwide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that the J&J pause should help people hesitant about all three vaccines believe they are safe because regulators paused the vaccine to investigate a potential safety risk.

In total, more than 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the US. 

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