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A roundup of state government and Capitol news items of interest:

VACCINATION MESSAGING

Two state agencies are partnering to share messaging with Iowans about the importance of getting vaccinated for flu and COVID-19.

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division say six semi-trailers with messaging encouraging Iowans to get vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19 now are circulating the state in a collaboration they say will better use state resources.

By getting vaccinated for influenza and COVID-19, Iowans can prevent avoidable hospitalizations and help preserve health care resources for other needs, the agencies said in a joint statement Monday. Recent expansions of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for children ages 5 to 11 and for Iowans over 18 to receive a booster will mean increased opportunity for protection from COVID-19, according to state officials. Annual flu vaccines are recommended for everyone over 6 months old. Iowans with questions about vaccines should consult their health care providers or find vaccine providers at vaccinate.iowa.gov.

NEW BOARD LEADER

Members of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board have selected Zach Goodrich to serve as the panel’s next executive director and legal counsel.

A graduate of Simpson College and Drake University Law School, Goodrich serves as legal counsel for the Iowa Public Information Board. He will succeed Mike Marshall, who has served as executive director and legal counsel of the ethics board since December 2019 and is slated to retire Jan. 6. Board members said they chose Goodrich because of his commitment to bipartisanship and his experience serving the Iowa Public Information Board.

SANTA THINKING SAFETY 

Officials at the state Department of Natural Resources offered a gift suggestion Tuesday for Iowa boaters this holiday season: new U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jackets.

According to the state agency, the safety items are functional and a way for shoppers to avoid the crowds and the “item out of stock” message. Susan Stocker, DNR boating law administrator and education coordinator, said life jackets make an excellent gift because each person on board a vessel is required to have one, and kids 12 and younger must wear one while the vessel is underway.

“Life jackets don’t last forever, and right now is an excellent time to replace them, well ahead of the boating season,” said Stocker, who noted there are more than 215,000 registered boats in Iowa.

- Gazette Des Moines Bureau

This article originally ran on qctimes.com.

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