UI Health Care on track to vaccinate 1,000 in one day; ready to vaccinate more of our community as soon as more doses are available

Pamela Kautz receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
Pamela Kautz gives a “thumbs up” after receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, with UI Health Care in Coralville. Kautz was one of 1,000 Johnson County residents pre-scheduled to be vaccinated in a single day.

News Release: University of Iowa Health Care today took its next big step in continued preparations to keep our community safe from COVID-19. This afternoon, UI Health Care is on track to administer 1,000 pre-scheduled doses at one location in a single day to Johnson County residents age 65 or older who are newly eligible under Phase 1b of the state's vaccination guidance.

These individuals were contacted directly by UI Health Care to pre-schedule their vaccine appointments by phone call and/or online appointments through their electronic medical record, MyChart. As vaccine supply increases over the coming weeks, UI Health Care will open more vaccine appointments and continue its work with community and public health partners to vaccinate as many people as doses allow, starting with Johnson County residents.

"This is a great moment for Iowa. Many across the country may not fully realize the capabilities within the state to efficiently vaccinate large numbers of individuals without long lines or sacrificing safety. The amazing thing is that we could have vaccinated 3 or 4 times as many individuals today if we had the vaccine allocations.”

“Our community members are eager to get the vaccine and we take great pride in being able to vaccinate them using the same safety, efficiency, and quality standards used to vaccinate our employees under Phase 1a,” continues Gunasekaran. “We are committed to being a responsible community partner by having an inclusive vaccination program. We are working with Johnson County Public Health and community organizations to vaccinate not just our patients, but others, including those who may not have access to phone or internet to schedule an appointment. All Johnson County residents will receive the same opportunity to be vaccinated through the COVID-19 vaccination program at UI Health Care, regardless of how their interest is received.”   

“The demand continues to outpace supply, so we ask the community to be patient as we work to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated,” says Gunasekaran. “It will be both joyous for those who are vaccinated, and difficult for those who are still waiting. More vaccines will come, but it will require patience.”  

Vaccinations today were held indoors at the UI Health Care Health Care Support Services Building (HSSB) in Coralville.

Safety, efficiency, patient satisfaction

The safe and efficient procedures UI Health Care developed during its employee vaccination campaign under Phase 1a were used to create its patient vaccination program. Late last week, in partnership with Johnson County Public Health, several hundred patients ages 75 and older were safely vaccinated by appointment in a pilot program.  

Among them was Jeannette Banks, an 81-year-old who has barely left her home during the pandemic.

"I was thrilled, absolutely thrilled. I just couldn’t get there fast enough. We’ve been waiting for 11 months; I'm so glad this day has come.”

— Jeannette Banks

How vaccine appointments are scheduled

Banks and others who have been vaccinated were contacted directly by UI Health Care via phone or MyChart to schedule their appointment in advance. UI Health Care is not accepting walk-ins and asks the public to avoid calling in order to keep the phone lines open for those needing patient care appointments. The best way to stay informed is to visit our vaccination information section.

Community members who are not currently patients and are interested in receiving the vaccine with UI Health Care can submit an interest form.

The easiest way for UI Health Care patients to find out when it’s time for their vaccination is through their MyChart account. Individuals may choose to express their interest in the COVID-19 vaccine through their MyChart account, but this is not a required step. If you don’t have an account, you will be called by UI Health Care.

Keep up safety measures for our community

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, can still stay safe by following safety guidelines: wear a mask, wash your hands, maintain physical distance from others, and avoid enclosed public places or large gatherings. UI Health Care still recommends that all vaccinated Iowans continue to follow all safety measures for their own safety and the safety of others.