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Local health officials “in limbo” waiting for details on distributing COVID booster doses

MASON CITY — President Joe Biden has said that COVID-19 vaccine boosters would be available to all fully vaccinated Americans starting next week, but local health officials are still in limbo on a lot of the details for that plan. The White House walked back that plan after there were concerns the announcement got ahead of any recommendations made by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health director Brian Hanft says his agency is planning to distribute those boosters but they can’t finish the details until hearing from the feds.  “Planning is underway for how the third dose might be administered, whenever that might be rolled out. Across the country, we’re still waiting in limbo as far as how that might work its way through the process.”

Hanft says not only is COVID a concern as we’ve turned toward fall but other illnesses are now also in that mix. “That illness is intermixed with COVID, which makes the process even more convoluted. It’s adding a pretty substantial burden to our clinics and hospitals, so they are seeing definitely increased numbers.”

The seven-day positivity rate in Cerro Gordo County as of last Wednesday evening was 7.9%, while the 14-day rate for the county was 6.7%.

Hanft made his comments at today’s meeting of the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors.

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