CBS2 reports that officials in Iowa say they expect over 172,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December. Those doses will then be given to health care workers and the residents and staff at long term care facilities.

The first 26,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, pending federal approval, is supposed to arrive by December 13th. Tens of thousands of doses from both Pfizer and Moderna are still awaiting FDA approval. They are expected to arrive in the state by the week of December 27th. Both vaccines have an efficacy rate of greater than 90%.

CBS2 reports that officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health say while life is NOT going to return to normal right away, the vaccine news is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose after 21 days. The Moderna vaccine requires the next dose after 28 days. The 172,000 vaccine doses on the way represent those first doses of the medicine.

CBS2 reports that the state will pre-position the first doses to six health care facilities in metro areas. The specific locations have not been disclosed due to safety protocols. The rest of the vaccine from Pfizer in the first shipment will then be set aside for people in long term care facilities. CBS2 notes that Iowa has opted in to a federal program with pharmacies at Walgreens, CVS, and Community Pharmacy to assist with administering doses to the senior living centers.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds stressed again that while the vaccines are good news, Iowans still need to wear masks, social distance, and avoid large gatherings to help slow the spread of the virus.

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