DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Public Health’s weekly Covid update shows 60.3% of Iowans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. The vaccination rate among Iowans who are 65 or older is 83%.
Over the past seven days, 24% of the Iowans who’ve tested positive for Covid are under the age of 18. Dan Diekema, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says the spread is largely driven by virus activity in schools where students under age 12 aren’t eligible for a Covid shot.
“You have a very vulnerable population, a lot of transmission that can happen,” he says, “and then that transmission is carried over into the community when you have such a large percentage of your population that’s unvaccinated.”
The total number of Covid patients in Iowa hospitals has dropped slightly for the first time in 12 weeks according to state data. However, there are more Covid patients in intensive care now compared to last Wednesday and nearly 85% of them were not vaccinated.