Jan. 29, 2021 -- For Immediate Release
Plans Progressing for Dubuque County Appointment-Based Vaccination Clinic
At a 5 p.m. meeting today (Jan. 29), the Dubuque County Board of Health approved the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team’s request to lease vacant space at Kennedy Mall in Dubuque to operate an indoor COVID-19 vaccination point of distribution (POD) for Phase 1B vaccinations.
To be finalized, the lease agreement must next be approved by the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors on Monday. If approved, preparations at the site will begin immediately with the goal of opening the site to appointments for vaccinations beginning mid-February and as vaccine allocations become more available.
In accordance with IDPH guidance to begin vaccinations for Phase 1B on February 1, some local healthcare providers may have alternate accommodations to administer vaccines next week. Residents should follow guidance from their healthcare organization if they are notified of eligibility to receive the vaccine.
The location selected for the community POD/clinic is the former Younkers women’s store on the north side of Kennedy Mall in Dubuque. The location was selected by a committee of county incident management team members and representatives from the local healthcare providers approved to administer vaccines. The indoor location provides adequate space and convenient parking, is accessible by public transportation, and is a known location to most county residents.
The clinic will operate as a joint vaccination site for multiple local healthcare providers who will offer their patients COVID vaccinations at the site by appointment only. Appointments will be required for all COVID vaccinations. “Walk-ins” will not be accepted. County residents age 65 and over will be contacted by their healthcare provider when vaccines are available and vaccination appointments can be scheduled. Healthcare providers will contact their patients through a variety of channels including telephone, text, email, and letter. Detailed information on how to schedule appointments will be provided by each healthcare provider. Each provider will have dedicated space at the POD for their patients.
This will be a phased approach and the timeline will be determined by vaccine availability. It is estimated there are over 18,000 county residents age 65 and over and Dubuque County’s vaccine allocations have been averaging less then 1,000 per week. However, a 16% increase in allocations is expected over the next few weeks.
The Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team has partnered with local healthcare providers authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and operate a community point of distribution, or POD, for Phase 1B Tier 1 vaccinations. Partners include Crescent Community Health Center, Epic Health and Wellness, Grand River Medical Group, Medical Associates Clinics, MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital, and multiple pharmacies. These and additional partners will be involved in future phases.
Dubuque County is following guidelines from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for Phase 1B, which includes all county residents age 65 and specific high-risk populations. Tier 1 of the high-risk populations includes first responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and child welfare social workers) as well as preK-12 school staff and early childhood education and childcare workers.
Other residents eligible in Phase 1B Tier 1 (first responders and preK-12 school staff and early childhood education and childcare workers) will receive vaccination instructions from their employers. The other four tiers of high-risk populations designated by IDPH in Phase 1B will be vaccinated in order and with logistical issues factored in, after Tier 1 is completed.
Additional background on COVID-19 vaccinations is available at www.dubuquecounty.org/COVID19. Residents may also call 563-556-6200 for general information.
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