DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With interest in coronavirus vaccines lagging in much of Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday that public health officials planned to make shots available at gathering spots like farmers markets and sports events.
Reynolds said the state was holding talks with groups including the Iowa Cubs baseball team and Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market about holding mass vaccination clinics at those sites.
It's part of the governor's effort to get 65% of Iowans vaccinated by May and 75% by June. It is believed that 70% to 85% of the population would need to be immune before the coronavirus is effectively contained, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"We're going to be anywhere and everywhere,” Reynolds said. “We're taking a look at events that are happening across the state, trying to tie into them. We're working on that this week.”
The new efforts are meant to overcome a decline in vaccination demand, as 80 of the state's 99 counties this week have reduced requests for shots.
Iowa had fully vaccinated just over 1 million people or 32% of the population as of Wednesday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That places Iowa 15th best in the country. The CDC data shows 1.4 million people, or 43% of the population, have received at least one dose.
State public health officials reported Wednesday 547 new confirmed cases and three additional deaths, increasing the state total to 5,930 deaths.