MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday that they will now be accepting COVID-19 vaccination appointments for individuals under the age of 65 that have underlying medical conditions, as well as all other previously eligible priority groups.
County public health director Brian Hanft says an advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those with underlying medical conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness that would come from COVID-19. “Things like cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down’s Syndrome, heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, obesity, pregnancy, people who smoke, sickle cell disease, type two diabetes. It then further went on to talk about people who might be at an increased risk for severe illness with some additional issues or underlying medical conditions. That would include things like people who are overweight, people who have a BMI greater than 25. People who have asthma, people who have cystic fibrosis, hypertension or high blood pressure.”
Hanft says it’s a substantial growth in the number of people now eligible for the vaccine and he is pleading with people to be truthful about whether or not they have an underlying health condition when they sign up to get vaccinated. “We’re asking for people who sign up under these conditions to come in and be truthful, and if you have these pre-existing conditions that are listed that by all means come in and get signed up for the vaccine. If you do not have these pre-existing conditions, please hold off, please wait, take your turn, continue to wear your masks, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, do those sorts of things. There are people who are under 65 that have significant illness issues that need this vaccine sooner than other people.”
Hanft says they are asking people who don’t fit into this current vaccination tier or any of the previous tiers to be patient. “We’re doing the best job we possibly can as a public health department with the rules that we are presented. We really look at this as we get vaccine, we want to put it in people’s arms, and at some point, we’re going to be through everyone. Those people who have to wait, we appreciate your patience. We appreciate people who are holding off and waiting their turn.”
To view a full list of the CDC’s underlying medical conditions click here.