Friday, December 4, 2020

Update: COVID-19 vaccine distribution

As you have likely seen in the news, two pharmaceutical companies have applied for an emergency use authorization for vaccines that have proven to be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19, and are awaiting authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move forward. This includes the vaccine that was tested at our own world-class academic medical center.

This is a key development in our fight against COVID-19, and the prospect of an effective vaccine is a testament to the dedication of medical professionals and scientists from around the world.

Though the vaccines are not yet available for the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide recommendations using a tiered distribution plan, placing first priority on health care workers and those who live and work in long-term care facilities. The vaccine will be more widely available sometime in early- to mid-2021 once the first two groups have been vaccinated.

The University of Iowa does not decide the order of who receives vaccinations, but will continue to coordinate with Johnson County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health on COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning in order to ensure alignment with the most updated federal guidance, which is determined by the CDC.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, see detailed COVID-19 vaccination information from the CDC.

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Dec. 2, 2020.

The University of Iowa has published an updated snapshot of self-reported positive COVID-19 tests from faculty, staff, and students.

Number of self-reported cases of COVID-19


  • New cases: 22
  • Semester-to-date: 2,734


  • New cases: 9
  • Semester-to-date: 300

These numbers reflect only self-reported positive or presumed positive COVID-19 tests from UI faculty, staff, and students on the academic campus since Aug. 18, 2020. These data will not match data reported by UI Hospitals & Clinics or by the Iowa Department of Public Health for several reasons, including different testing time intervals and geographic scope. Students who also are employees of the university are only reported in the student number to avoid double counting. The UI has more than 30,000 students and nearly 30,000 employees. Many employees continue to work remotely but have self-reported to authorize sick leave.

Number of residence hall students in quarantine: 0*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 3**

*Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

**Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are symptomatic and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.