Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks for the first time since removing many COVID-19 restrictions in the state


Gov. Kim Reynolds said the demand outweighs supply while addressing the state about vaccine distribution for the upcoming months.

Ethan Wiersma

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds reported that vaccinations will be more readily available for Iowans now after nearly 300,000 essential workers have already been vaccinated in the state during her weekly press conference Wednesday.

Reynolds said the state’s average positivity rate has hovered at 8.6 percent for the past two weeks and 6.4 percent for the past week. There were 292 Iowans hospitalized with COVID-19 Tuesday, Reynolds said.

“We are receiving around 15,000 vaccines every day, it’s just a matter of effectively distributing it,” Reynolds said. 

Vaccination rollout has been a struggle for many Iowa counties, Reynolds said, who also has a plan to potentially bring in the Iowa National Guard to assist with the distribution of vaccines.

“We know what we need to do and it doesn’t require a government mandate to do it,” Reynolds said. “I trust business owners will continue to make decisions on how they operate that are in the best interests of their customers and their employees.”

Reynolds said she is proud the 296,000 first doses of the vaccine have been dispersed throughout the state.

This week states across the country will receive a 5 percent increase in vaccination rollout thanks to legislation passed in Washington, according to Reynolds. Eleven million vaccinations have been distributed nationwide, Reynolds said.

Reynolds plans to set up call centers for Iowans to reach out to if they are having trouble getting vaccinated. The call centers would locate a vaccine across the state and make it easily available for Iowans to get it. 

Supply of the vaccine coming into the state continues to be a problem. Vaccine distribution is based on the population of the county, so it may be harder for small town Iowans to get the help they need, Reynolds said. 

“As a state we have had many setbacks, like the weather and what we’ve had to deal with, but Iowa has gone from 47th to 37th in COVID mitigation,” Reynolds said.

Iowa sits near the bottom of the country in vaccination per capita administered at 47th and testing at 48th per capita. It also remains eighth in the country for total COVID-19 per capita cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

When asked about why the restrictions ended for Iowans, Reynolds talked about the decreasing mental health of students and increasing substance abuse across the state and nationwide. 

“I trust Iowans to do the right thing,” Reynolds said.