Story County Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Update:

1B Vaccination Tiers

Story County Public Health will provide vaccine for the tiered groups. Due to limited supply of vaccines, it will take many weeks to get through each tier and through the 65 and older group. This could change if vaccine supplies increase. When the 65 and older group is complete or near complete, the next phase, which focuses on people under the age of 65 with health conditions at an increased risk of severe illness, will begin.

Tier 2

Story County Public Health will move into Tier 2 groups for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Monday, March 15. This is possible because a majority of people in Tier 1 (first responders, K-12 school staff, daycare workers) have received both doses of vaccine. Tier 2 groups include:

  • Food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers who work in or live in congregate settings that do now allow for social distancing.
  • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings and their direct care staff. Call Story County Public Health at 1-800-945-8563 to schedule appointments.

The Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines regarding the Tier 2 groups

Group 1

Individuals with disabilities living in home settings that are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff.

  • To be eligible for group 1, the individual with the disability must also be dependent upon attendant care staff.
  • For the purposes of federal disability nondiscrimination laws (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), the definition of a person with a disability is typically defined as someone who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more "major life activities," (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
  • Individuals identified as attendant care staff, even if they are a family member, are eligible under this group.

Group 2

Frontline essential workers in the food, agricultural, distribution, and manufacturing sectors who work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing.

  • To be eligible for group 2, there is a two-part eligibility consideration. First, the person must work in one of the sectors identified. Second, the individual must work OR live in a congregate setting that does not allow for social distancing.
  • Examples:
    • Migrant farm workers who live in congregate settings where social distancing is difficult or impossible to maintain.
    • Manufacturing workers whose workstations are within six feet of another worker and there are no alternative solutions for worker safety.
  • Workers in industries that can social distance should not be vaccinated in Phase 1B; however, providers should use their best judgment in determining eligibility for vaccination.
  • Restaurant, grocery, and other essential workers are not included in 1B unless they meet another phase requirement.

64 and Younger

Story County Public Health is recommending that vaccine providers in Story County begin making vaccine available to people ages 64 and younger who have medical conditions that are or may be an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The providers, which include clinics and pharmacies in Story County, are still administering vaccine to people 65 and older. As the providers finish up with this group, it recommended that they move forward with 64 and younger group. Providers will have individual processes for administering vaccines to all eligible people. Please contact the provider(s) of your choice for more information.

The governor recently announced that all adults will be eligible for vaccination on April 5, depending on vaccine availability. Story County Public Health will continue to monitor the allocations that will be received to accomplish this goal.

These medical conditions as reported by the CDC are: 

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

IDPH Infographic for Vaccine Distribution to Priority Populations Phase 1B

Where can I get a vaccine?

People 65 and older can seek vaccines from McFarland Clinic, Story County Medical Center and NESCO Family Medical Clinic.

The ability of these locations to provide vaccines will depend on the allocation of vaccine Story County receives.

McFarland Clinic

McFarland Clinic is offering online scheduling for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Anyone who is eligible for the vaccine may schedule their first dose online. Appointment times may be limited, so please continue to check their website for new appointment availability. For more information and to check appointment times, visit McFarland Clinic's website.

Story County Medical Center

Story County Medical Center is moving to the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. They have reached out to all those who met Phase 1B criteria and signed up for the vaccine in their publicly available queue. They are no longer accepting requests for appointments through our online request form. The medical center is now reaching out directly to patients 64 and younger who fall into high risk groups. Once this group is completely vaccinated, they will begin to schedule patients by age, starting with the oldest and working down to the youngest. Story County Medical Center is reaching out by phone to schedule these appointments directly with those who meet the criteria. At this time they are not offering the vaccine to non-clinic patients and requests that people DO NOT call to request an appointment. 

Primary Health Care Clinic, Ames

Primary Health is contacting their patients to schedule vaccine appointments. They are working from oldest to youngest, with consideration given to patients who are at greater risk due to health condition. For more information, call 515-232-0628.

NESCO Family Clinic, Zearing

Due to the small amount of vaccine they have available, the clinic is focusing on the immediate Zearing community. The clinic is contacting patients, working from oldest to youngest. For more information, call 641-487-7800.


Some Story County pharmacies are receiving limited allocations of COVID-19 vaccine from the state and the federal government. These pharmacies are providing vaccine for people 65 and older. Medicap in Ames will contact customers to schedule vaccine appointments. Nucara (Ames, Nevada, Story City) is directing customers to its website ( to fill out their information, which will put them on the waitlist for the pharmacy location that they select. Nucara will reach out to patients on the list to schedule appointments. Pharmacies at two Hy-Vees in Ames are taking appointments based on vaccine availability. Hy-Vee has a central, on-line scheduling platform available on its website:

Additional Resources

What you need to know about mRNA COVID-19 vaccines [PDF]

For information about the vaccine, including its effectiveness and safety, please refer to:

Centers for Disease Control -

Iowa Department of Public Health -

COVID Vaccine Status

Week of April 19, 2021

Story County Public Health 1B Covid Vaccine Update: Very Limited Availability

Story County Public Health has been allocated 1,670 doses for the week of April 19, plus a special allocation for Iowa State students. Story County Public Health will retain about 300 doses. Local pharmacies will be provided vaccines to help with the manufacturing sector of Tier 2. Otherwise, pharmacies receive vaccine for the public from federal resources. The rest of the county’s allocation will be distributed to McFarland Clinic, Story County Medical Center, Primary Health Care, NESCO Family Clinic and Iowa State University. Please refer to the clinic listing on this page for more information about these organizations’ vaccine plans.