Iowa drops Microsoft contract for COVID-19 vaccine management system

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Feb. 17 that the state has nixed its contract with Microsoft to develop a centralized registration system for COVID-19 vaccinations, the Des Moines Register reports. 

Despite announcing Microsoft as the selected partner for the emergency contract Feb. 9, Ms. Reynolds said Feb. 17 that state officials have decided trying to roll out a statewide management system could cause more disruption and that it would be too difficult to merge the numerous scheduling systems health departments and pharmacies are already using across the state. 

"We did not want to slow down the progress that we're making," Ms. Reynolds said.

The state will now focus on outfitting existing systems to work more efficiently, such as its 211 phone system, which helps Iowans find social services. State officials are working to add vaccine scheduling capabilities to the system, and in the meantime, 211 phone staff and Area Agencies on Aging will advise seniors on how to find vaccine appointments, according to the report. 

Iowa's public health department website has a page dedicated to helping Iowans find vaccination providers to call or schedule appointments with online. Earlier this month, the website showed no vaccination sites for eight rural counties out of the state's 99 total, according to the publication. At that time, all eight counties' public health departments said they alongside their local clinics or pharmacies had been providing some shots and they were unsure why the state appeared to be reporting otherwise. 

Click here to view the full report. 

 

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