The FDA and CDC are recommending a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after reviewing a small number of reports of a rare type of blood clot. Both agencies are making this recommendation of an abundance of caution. Safety remains a top priority, both for the FDA and CDC as well as for us at UnityPoint Health.
Safety remains a top priority, both for the FDA and CDC as well as for us at UnityPoint Health. UnityPoint Health will stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we receive further information. Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past three weeks, and developed severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath, should contact your health care provider immediately. While there are a few cases of blood clots, millions of individuals have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine with no serious complications.
We've started administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the public while following the guidelines developed by state and local public health departments. Here's what you can expect from us:
- Based on state and local public health guidelines, if you identify as an eligible individual based off age, we will notify you via phone, direct mail and/or through MyUnityPoint when you are eligible to schedule an appointment.
- If you identify as an eligible individual based off your place of employment or occupation, we encourage you to closely monitor communication from your local public health department. We will continue to partner with local public health departments on the best strategies to vaccinate and broadly communicate to these groups of individuals.
- We expect COVID-19 vaccines to be widely available to the general public later in 2021. Please note that community members aren't able to sign up for the vaccine in advance.
To date, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids has administered 25,434 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. These doses have been given to eligible individuals in Phases 1A & 1B, which is directed by Linn County Public Health (LCPH). These doses are being administered through St. Luke's Employee Health, UnityPoint Clinics and UnityPoint Health Work Well Clinic.
Every day, UnityPoint Clinic is sending invitations to eligible patients to schedule their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Text messaging with a self-scheduling link is used. If a patient does not have texting capabilities or the clinic doesn't get a response from the patient, the clinic staff call eligible patients. The vaccine is available by appointment only and there is not a wait list. We ask for your patience as vaccine supply determines how quickly we are able to vaccinate patients. You can check our progress by visiting this webpage, as it's updated weekly.
As of Thursday, March 11, we have invited all of our patients who are 65 and older. We are inviting patients ages 16-64 with multiple qualifying conditions as designated by the CDC. We have also started inviting patients 27 years and older with no qualifying conditions as designated by the CDC.
If you have questions or scheduling difficulties, call our COVID-19 vaccine call center at (319) 730-9439.
Here is a closer look at UnityPoint Clinic information, which is currently contacting its patients ages 65 and older to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine. (Info below is from April 4, 2021)
- 13,544 Number of patients vaccinated
- 100% of allotted doses used, which is possible by getting extra doses from vaccine vials
- 33% of its eligible patient population has been vaccinated through UnityPoint Clinics
- 61,862 UnityPoint Clinic patients have been invited to schedule a vaccination appointment
- 50% of invited, eligible UnityPoint Clinic patients invited have scheduled an appointment
In the meantime, we encourage everyone, including those who have received the vaccine, to wear a face covering, social distance and wash your hands frequently in order to help reduce your risk of COVID-19.
Learn about the COVID-19 vaccine from fact-based sources, such as the FDA and CDC. Please contact your health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Visitor Policy Updates
Please be kind to our team members if they remind you of our policy. We want to keep everyone safe.
Patients and visitors please enter through the West Entrance to gain entry into the hospital.
In outpatient areas of the hospital, such as therapy, visitor restrictions may be different as waiting areas are small, and we are enforcing social distancing measures. Thank you for understanding.
Effective Monday, April 12, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, along with Mercy Cedar Rapids, will begin allowing two visitors per patient including patients in the Emergency Department.
All other visitor guidelines will NOT change including no visitors in COVID-positive or COVID-pending symptomatic patient rooms. Our end-of-life visitor policy for COVID-positive patients is still in place.
No Visitors Allowed In:
- Visiting hours are 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Visitors must be in good health. Please do not visit if you have symptoms of respiratory infection. (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).
- Hospitalized & ER patients can have two visitors at a time.
- Visitors must be screened, have a badge provided, and wear a mask or no entry.
- BirthCare patients may have up to two visitors at a time (One support person and one visitor).
- NICU patients may have one birth parent plus one significant other.
- Minors under the age of 18 may have two visitors, parents or guardians. This includes our Emergency and Pediatric Departments.
- Surgery or outpatient procedure patients may have two visitors in the hospital at any time.
- Patients with an appointment at a hospital-based clinic, lab or radiology may have two people accompany them.
- Patients at end-of-life may have visitors assessed on a case-by-case basis.
- Visitors must stay in the patient’s room during their visit. However, they may visit the Gift Shop or Cafeteria for needed items. They are asked to either return immediately to their patient’s room or depart the hospital.
- No animals allowed except for official service animals.
- Chaplain/Clergy can visit. They can be a third visitor for the patient.
- Behavioral Health Units (2E and 1W only).
- No children visiting under the age of 16 (unless extraordinary circumstances).
- No visitors in COVID-positive or COVID-pending symptomatic patient rooms. See end-of-life visitor policy for COVID-positive patients.