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Cahill helps sort out vaccine situation

Sometimes during this legislative session, I have felt very underwhelmed at my ability to make or impact changes for the people of Iowa. I campaigned on finding common sense answers and reaching across the aisle. This has been harder than I expected on the divisive issues.

But this week, I feel I finally made a difference. I received an email from a constituent outlining an experience his family member had in another county in receiving the COVID vaccine. This person did not have a driver’s license and was required to produce a consular ID and a foreign passport. The pharmacy proceeded to photo-copy all of his documents.

This was a very unsettling experience for the individual and his family. After learning of this, I was able to contact Logan Shine with the governor’s office about Iowa Public Health policies in distributing vaccines. I contacted Pat Thompson from the Marshall County Health Department about county policies. I relayed the information to Jeremy Whitaker, president of the Iowa Public Health Association. My constituent contacted HyVee pharmacies about their vaccination policies.

I heard back from the governor’s office stating that there are no ID requirements and no residency requirement to receive a vaccine. This is outlined in a December 11, 2020 vaccine memo on the Iowa Department of Public Health website (idph.iowa.gov).

Pat Thompson reiterated that no one can be denied the vaccine. “No documents required. We want all people vaccinated.”

Mr. Whitaker stated, “To address your question about COVID-19 vaccination and immigration status, the federal government supports all people getting the vaccine regardless of documentation.”

On Friday, I received a call from Ann Roth, the HyVee government relations lobbyist wanting to state that all HyVee providers were being “retrained” to make sure they understood that “No IDs are required”.

I am sorry that one person had to endure this scrutiny to receive their vaccination. I hope this incident, this one constituent contacting me, improved our systems throughout the state and our policies on vaccines. Please help me be an advocate for “trusting the vaccine process.” Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to get the vaccine. Let’s keep safe and I look forward to seeing you face to face soon.

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Sue Cahill is the state representative for District 71.

Contact her at Sue.Cahill@legis.iowa.gov

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