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Iowa turns down 71% of available vaccines on weak demand

May 2, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is turning down nearly three quarters of the vaccine doses available to the state from the federal government because demand for the shots remains weak.

The Iowa Department of Public Health and Safety said the state asked the federal government to withhold 71% of the 105,300 vaccine doses that were available for the week of May 10. This is the second week in a row that the state has asked the federal government to hold back part of its allocation of vaccine doses.

Department spokeswoman Sarah Ekstrand told the Des Moines Register that 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties have told the state they don’t need all or part of their weekly vaccine allocations for that week. That’s an increase from the 80 counties that declined vaccine shipments for this week and the 43 counties that declined all or part of their allocations last week.


“As we have shared before, these counties are doing exactly the right thing by only accepting the volume of vaccine that they can confidently administer,” Ekstrand said.

Demand for the vaccines appears to have peaked in early April across Iowa when the state set a record by giving 51,322 shots in one day. By last week, the highest daily total of vaccines given was only 23,159.

As of Saturday, 56.5% of all Iowa adults had received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.