Spread of COVID-19 remained steady over the last week, with 21 new cases and one new death among Hardin County’s residents.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported this week that as of Tuesday, there had been 2,764 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, an increase of 21 in one week. That’s a slight decrease from the previous week’s 25 new cases, but still high enough to qualify the county as an area of high transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the 2,764 cases to date, 2,622 Hardin County residents are classified as having recovered from the disease, and 53 local people have died of it. That leaves 89 known active cases of COVID-19 in the county, a decrease from last week’s 130 active cases, and far fewer than the most recent peak of 425 cases on Oct. 5.
Child vaccinations begin
Last week, the U.S. government granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children age 5-11. Previously, it was only available to people age 12 and older. Despite that authorization, the pediatric vaccine doses still were not available at any Hardin County locations on Wednesday this week.
On Monday, Hardin County Public Health announced via its Facebook page that it had received pediatric doses. The post asked for patience as the public health agency, pharmacies and physicians’ offices “work together to determine the best and most effective way of getting this vaccine into eligible arms.”
The pediatric vaccine doses have been made available at other locations throughout the state – via public health agencies and pharmacies. Full inoculation with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two injections that are administered at least 21 days apart.
According to Iowa Department of Public Health data updated Wednesday, 8,558 Hardin County residents – about 50.7 percent of the total population – have been fully inoculated against COVID-19. That’s an increase of 40 people from the previous week. The state’s website also reports that 53.6 percent of the county’s total population had received at least one doze of the vaccine as of Tuesday. The website does not provide a breakdown of the number of Hardin County children under 12 who had received a first dose of the vaccine by Tuesday.
Booster clinics scheduled
Hardin County Public Health is continuing to host clinics to administer Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to people who are eligible to receive them. The booster shots are to be administered at least six months after a person’s initial vaccine series. Eligible people are at least one of the following:
- Age 65 and older
- Age 18 and older who live in long-term care settings
- Age 18 and older with underlying medical conditions
- Age 18 and older who work or live in high-risk settings
The next Hardin County Public Health Moderna COVID-19 booster clinics will be held at the Eldora Fire Department and the Iowa Falls Fire Department on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Sign up for an Eldora Moderna booster shot appointment here, and an Iowa Falls Moderna booster shot appointment here.
Individuals who received the Pfizer BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago are instructed to call their local pharmacy for more information about obtaining a booster dose.