The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced a new policy that they hope will get more COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of Iowans. KWWL reports that as of this week, Iowa counties must give out 80% of their their allocated vaccines before they will be allowed to get more.

If an Iowa county doesn't meet that 80% marker, the Iowa Department of Public Health says that they will investigate the reason for the delay. KWWL reports that if the reason for the delay is a valid one, the county will continue to get it's allocated vaccines. If no reason is found, then the county's vaccine distribution will pause for one week. It is unclear at this point how many of Iowa's 99 counties are meeting that 80% threshold.

Iowa has distributed just under 69% of it's doses that were allocated, and around 95,000 Iowans have completed the series of vaccination shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Iowa has vaccinated 11,150 doses per 100,000 people. Only six states have a lower rate. According to the New York Times vaccine tracker, only 8.2 percent of Iowans have received the vaccine, which also ranks near the bottom nationally.

More help scheduling vaccine appointments is on the way. KWWL reports that Iowa public health officials have picked Microsoft to help build an online vaccination scheduling system. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced on Monday that they are giving the company an emergency contract to get the scheduling website built.

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