FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:   February 18, 2021

Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have collaborated with Iowa’s executive branch to determine what role Iowa’s AAAs can play in providing information to older Iowans. Iowa’s AAAs can provide information about the scheduling process for securing a vaccine and information about transportation and other services the caller may need. Iowa’s AAAs DO NOT have access to scheduling systems maintained by providers or county public health offices and, therefore, cannot standardly provide scheduling support across the state.

Iowa’s AAAs respond to the needs of older Iowans, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers through a network of six AAAs and contracted providers. Iowa’s aging network has also developed innovative approaches to ensure access to food, information, and supportive services to those we serve (see Iowa AAAs at Work: COVID-19 Report, January 2021) during the pandemic. As of today, 93% of the COVID-19 related deaths are of individuals over the age of 60.1 COVID-19 remains an ageist virus in causing serious illness and premature deaths of older Iowans. Obtaining the vaccine, along with public health practices guided by the CDC, is essential to preventing serious outcomes for older Iowans during this pandemic.

Iowa’s AAAs will continue to collaborate with local public health offices regarding individuals who have exhausted all of their options for scheduling a vaccination or who have been unable to access or navigate the confusing technologies required by some vaccine scheduling processes. We ask that older Iowans be patient as vaccines are currently in short supply and, if available, have a trusted person help with scheduling. Be aware that there should be no cost to obtain a vaccine and that scammers are attempting to get private information (e.g., credit cards, social security numbers) and money to save you a place on vaccine waiting lists. Do not provide your personal information to callers you do not know.