COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Cerro Gordo County | Cerro Gordo

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Cerro Gordo County

Throughout the pandemic we have all had questions. How does COVID-19 spread? How can I protect myself and my family? Do masks really work? Eventually we've found answers to these questions and as answers came we were able to develop "tools" to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Now we have one more "tool" on our belts in the form of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines designed to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19 are here and you may have more questions. That's ok, it is totally normal to have questions about the vaccines. How were they developed? Will they make me sick? Should I get vaccinated? Luckily, these questions and so many more have answers. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider, visit with your faith leaders, or visit It's time to get the facts and get back to what matters most.  When you decide to make the choice to protect yourself, your loved ones, your friends, and your community find a trusted vaccine administrator at
If you’ve just learned that your child has been identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 we know it can be scary. What does that mean? What do I do? CG Public Health is here to walk you through the necessary steps you should take to maintain the health of your child and the safety of your family.
COVID-19 1st & 2nd dose vaccine - Moderna (18+), Pfizer-BioNTech (5+), Johnson & Johnson (18+, when available). see information below regarding children aged 5-11. COVID-19 booster dose vaccine - Moderna (18+), Pfizer-BioNTech (18+), Johnson & Johnson (18+) see information below. COVID-19 3rd dose vaccine - Moderna (18+ immunocompromised), Pfizer-BioNTech (18+ immunocompromised) see information below. If you have already read and fully understand the recommendations, click here to sign up.

COVID-19 3rd dose vaccine for immunocompromised people.

Recently the FDA and the CDC authorized a 3rd dose COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals. 3rd dose COVID-19 vaccines are available now at pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and health departments across Iowa. The 3rd dose COVID-19 vaccine only applies to individuals who have completed the two-dose vaccine from either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech AND fit into an eligible category:
  • Cancer treatment
  • Organ transplant recipient that takes medication to suppress the immune system
  • Received stem cell transplant in last 2 years
  • Medication that suppresses the immune system
  • Has an immunodeficiency (DiGeorge Syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids
There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. The CDC’s recommendations now allow for the mix and match dosing of booster shots. While some people may prefer to get a different booster, this will be dependent on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines on hand.

Moderna & Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for all adults aged 18 years or older.

ACIP Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Boosters in Persons with a Complete mRNA Series.  The CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expanded recommendations for booster shots to now include all adults ages 18 years and older who received a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). In addition, ACIP updated recommendations for the groups who should receive a booster dose at least six months after completing the primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series to include: Effective immediately, CDC recommends:
  • Persons who should receive a COVID-19 booster dose:
    • Ages 50 years and older who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
    • Aged ≥18 years and reside in long-term care settings who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
  • Persons who may receive a COVID-19 booster dose:
    • Ages 18 years and older who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series based on individual benefit and risk, at least 6 months after primary series, under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for adults aged 18 years and older.

Effective immediately, CDC recommends:
  • People aged 18 years and older who received a single dose Johnson & Johnson primary series (1 dose) should receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose at least 2 months after completing the primary series.
    •  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not have eligibility criteria for the booster dose.

COVID-19 vaccines for 5 - 11-year-olds.

Effective immediately, the CDC recommends:
  • A two-dose, primary vaccination series for everyone ages 5 years and older, regardless of a history of symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection or seropositivity. Pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (2-doses, 10μg, IM) is recommended for children 5–11 years of age, under an Emergency Use Authorization. COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to the timing of other vaccines.
  • This includes simultaneous administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day.

Current or prior COVID-19 infection.

  • People with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should defer vaccination at least until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) AND they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation.
    •  (Isolation and precautions can typically be discontinued 10 days after positive test if asymptomatic or 10 days after symptom onset and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours) Serologic testing to assess for prior infection is not recommended for the purpose of vaccine decision-making.
Currently, any Iowan aged 12 years and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  Supply is available, sign up today. Quickly and easily locate vaccine administrators in your area by visiting the COVID-19 Vaccine Hunter webpage.  This webpage, designed by an Iowa native, searches over 585 vaccine administrators in Iowa and tells you which have available appointments in your area. Many older Iowans may need assistance to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Click here for tips on how to help!
      • The state of Iowa has launched a website people can use for help finding vaccine appointments in Iowa. PLEASE NOTE, THE VACCINE HUNTER WEBSITE STATED ABOVE IS MUCH EASIER TO USE AND A MORE ACCURATE WEBSITE, ACCESS IT HERE.
      • The Elderbridge Agency on Aging is another resource to help older Iowans find vaccines.  Their offices in Mason City, IA can be reached by dialing 641-424-0678.
      • If you are over the age of 65 and need help scheduling a vaccine appointment regardless of your location in Iowa, dial 211.  They have a dedicated team installed to help Iowans over the age of 65 get vaccinated.
  1. CG Public Health on-site vaccinations - We are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccines by appointment only at our offices located at 2570 4th St SW, Suite 1 in Mason City, IA. Sign up online at our sign-up page.
    • If for whatever reason, you are unable to sign up online you may dial 641-421-9300 during our regular office hours, and someone will assist you with signing up if appointments are available. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm. We also ask you to like and follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts as well as follow local news for additional updates.
      • Before signing up online or calling in, follow the link here for all the information you will need to have on hand.  Sign up is easy and made even easier by knowing this information ahead of time.
      • If you live in Mason City and are concerned about transportation to your vaccine clinic appointment the Mason City Transit is offering fare-free rides directly to our offices or any COVID-19 vaccine provider.  Click here to download a transit route map.
  2. Providers across the County - Pharmacies and other providers across the county and the state are offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment and via walk-in.  Click here to search by zip code, and/or brand and find a trusted provider today!
  3. United States Department of Veteran Affairs - The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is currently working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans and VA health care personnel.
    1. Many VA health facilities now offer COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans who meet these 2 criteria:
      • The Veteran already receives care at VA, and
      • The Veteran is at least 75 years old or has health problems that increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. We base risk on VA and CDC COVID-19 risk criteria.
      Some facilities also now offer vaccines to more Veterans, including Veterans 65 years and older. Please know that different facilities are at different phases of our vaccine plan. Facilities will continue to adjust their local plans based on these factors:
      • How much vaccine is currently available at the facility
      • The needs of the local facility and community
      • The number of Veterans in each risk group who want a vaccine
      • The strict requirements for how the facility must store and handle the vaccine
    2. If you’re a Veteran who already receives care at VA, your facility will contact you when you can get a vaccine. To learn about your facility’s current plan, find the facility’s website. Once you're on the site, go to Health care services, then COVID-19 in the menu.
      • Mason City VA clinic phone number - 641-494-5000
CG Public Health is now offering free at-home COVID-19 testing kits. These test kits are performed at home and sent through UPS to be tested at the State Hygenic Lab. turnaround time for results is typically 3 days (longer if sent over the weekend). These are not rapid tests.  In order to obtain one, you must first call the department at 641-421-9300.  You cannot obtain a testing kit without first making arrangements by calling 641-421-9300.  If you are picking up a test kit and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 you must let us know first. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever or chills Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Fatigue Muscle or body aches Headache New loss of taste or smell Sore throat Congestion or runny nose Nausea or vomiting Diarrhea