A new policy that was to require Iowa counties to administer 80 percent of their COVID vaccine allotment before receiving more, was going to leave five Iowa counties empty-handed this week. After outcry and scrambling from officials in those counties, that decision has been reversed this week, as those counties blamed the miscalculation on either bad timing or bad weather.

The requirement to use 80 percent before getting more was designed to keep counties from storing too much vaccine. But three of the counties that were about to have their shipment withheld including Buchanan, Washington, and Chickasaw were relieved to report to the Des Moines Register, they will be getting the allotment they anticipated after all. Buchanan County health department director Tai Burkhart said in their case, it turned out state health officials were using Thursday figures which didn't take into account the scheduled Friday vaccination clinic held in the county, which put them at the 80 percent threshold.

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According to the Register, had Buchanan County been withheld its shipment of vaccines for this week, it would have had to cancel 400 scheduled vaccination appointments.

It's not indicated whether the policy itself will be revised or tweaked, but according to Burkhart  "the bottom line is the residents of Buchanan County will get their doses".

For its part, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) noted that it wasn't their intent to punish counties for not using their 80 percent, but an encouragement to quickly get vaccines to those who need them.

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