Iowa's COVID-19 vaccination rate continued its gradual increase over the past month, according to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The state also reported fewer new cases than last week in Wednesday's data release.
About 59.6% of the state's population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the total reported last month.
The state also reported it had administered a total of 113,874 doses of the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses, which first became available in the state around the start of September. These boosters specifically target the currently-dominant BA.4 and BA.5 strains of the omicron variant, as well as original coronavirus strains.
The total number of bivalent doses reported by the state health department means about 3.5% of Iowans received the bivalent booster in its first month of availability — although the initial number of available doses was limited.
The state health department reported an additional 1,853 new COVID-19 cases in Iowa this week, the fewest since April. It's the fifth consecutive week that the state has reported fewer cases than the week before. Over the past seven days, Iowa has averaged 265 new reported cases, down from 299 per day over the week prior.
However, the number of people hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19 increased in this week's update for the first time in a month. The federal health and human services department reported 196 people hospitalized with the disease in the state. But only 16 of those required intensive care for COVID-19 complications, down from 27 last week.
The state health department reported 20 additional COVID-19 deaths this week, the fewest they've reported in one week since July. That number is particularly variable, however, and not necessarily indicative of current trends, as it often takes several weeks for the state health department to verify and publicly report COVID-19 deaths.
The state's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 10,097.
The latest COVID-19 numbers in Iowa
The latest data in Iowa since March 2020 for the pandemic, as of midnight Oct. 5, compared with one week earlier:
Confirmed cases: 857,784, an increase of 1,853.
Deaths: 10,097, an increase of 20.
Percentage of Iowans who are fully vaccinated: 59.6%
How many people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa?
Note: Hospitalization data for COVID-19 is no longer available through the Iowa Department of Public Health. The data below is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Hospitalizations: 196, up from 179 one week ago.
Patients in intensive care: 16, down from 27.
How many people in Polk and Dallas counties are vaccinated?
In Polk County, 67.2% of residents are fully vaccinated, according to this month's new data. That's an increase of 0.2 percentage points over the previous month.
In Dallas County, 66.0% of residents are fully vaccinated, an increase of 0.3 percentage points over the previous month.
The five counties in Iowa with the highest percentage of their population fully vaccinated as of Oct. 3 are Johnson (70.8%), Buena Vista (68.8%), Polk (67.2%), Marshall (67.0%) and Linn (66.2%) counties.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: New COVID cases in Iowa dip as bivalent boosters roll out