COVID-19 Vaccine

image of coronavirus

How will the COVID-19 vaccine work?

A COVID-19 vaccine will help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. Vaccines train the immune system to prevent infections and illness by making antibodies and special white blood cells.

How is vaccine being distributed?

Due to the limited vaccine, the federal government and the state of Iowa have established priority groups that are being given the vaccine first due to their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and they risk for serious illness or death as a result of COVID-19.  We expect production of the vaccine to increase in 2021, when there will eventually be enough supply of the vaccine for everyone who would like to receive it.

What about priority groups?

We are still currently in Phase 1A - frontline healthcare workers and long-term care residents.  As additional vaccine makes its way into our community, vaccine will be given to other healthcare workers and then eventually to other priority groups identified by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC).  Phase 1B was released by IDAC on Monday, January 12, 2021  (modified January 21, 2021) and includes the following groups:

Phase 1A:  Healthcare Workers & Long-Term Care Residents

Phase 1B:  Individuals 65+ years of age AND Populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness.

Populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness include:

  • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings whom are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff, if not otherwise vaccinated under Phase 1a.
  • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state and city or county operated facilities.
  • Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings, not covered by the first two bullets, including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. College dormitories shall not be included as part of Phase 1B.
  • Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers whom work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing. For example, working in a meatpacking or manufacturing production line or migrant workers whom live in bunkroom style housing.
  • PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Sub-prioritization should consider persons who work with younger and at-risk children in care, to better ensure child-wellbeing and mitigate impact to parent workforce.
  • First responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers).

Scott County Health Department will be utilizing these prioritization guidelines to identify the populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness to provide vaccination while supply of vaccine remains low.

The current recommendations of the IDAC can be found here:

The Iowa Department of Public Health has issued a vaccine shortage order.  This order requires vaccine providers, by law, to only administer vaccines to individuals included in Phase 1A: Healthcare Workers and Long-Term Care Residents and Staff.  Phase 1B will likely begin no later than February 1, 2021.

Below is the anticipated vaccine rollout:

Vaccine Phase 1

How will I know when I can receive the vaccine?

The Scott County Health Department and partners of the QC COVID-19 Coalition are sharing information on our website, social media pages, and with local media, community partners, and healthcare providers.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions


Learn about the vaccine - ask questions and get the answers you need so you are ready to get the vaccine when it's your turn:

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Protect Yourself and Others:

In the meantime, the best ways you can protect yourself from COVID-19 is by:

  • Wearing a mask whenever you are out and about
  • Keeping your distance from others
  • Staying away from group gatherings outside your immediate household
  • Staying home if you develop symptoms of illness
  • Getting tested if you believe you may have COVID-19

Essential Worker Survey:

The Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Council has not yet provided guidance for priority groups to be provided vaccine in Phase 1B.  Please have one individual from your business/essential organization complete this survey to provide our department with information as we continue vaccination planning:

Vaccine Priorities Phase 1B