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Expand chart
Data: Iowa Department of Public Health; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

For Des Moines residents, finding and booking a COVID-19 vaccine in a smaller community is sometimes their best shot at a shot, leaving some in a moral quandary about the practice.

Don't worry: Iowans who are eligible should not feel guilty about getting their shot, even if it's outside their community, said Nancy Berlinger, a bioethicist with the Hastings Center.

She noted the practice does raise some bigger questions:

  1. Is there enough supply in urban areas if people are resorting to driving long distances?
  2. Are there outreach problems in rural areas, like language, technology or education barriers, that are causing appointments to sit?

Our map doesn't show a particular trend.

  • Some rural counties have immunization rates under 20%, but so does Dallas County — home to West Des Moines and Waukee.

The state of play: Brian Finley, the mind behind the viral Twitter account @IAVaccineAlert, said appointments in Des Moines or Iowa City get snatched up as quickly as they're posted.

  • But appointments are sitting longer in smaller cities like Spencer (pop. 11,000).

Pay it forward: If you're a tech-savvy person who booked an appointment, offer to use those skills to help someone else, Berlinger has encouraged on Twitter.

  • "I'm really trying hard to get everybody to kind of look around them ... the neighborhood grandmas, the ladies down at the bingo hall ... help pull them across the finish line," Finley said.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

35 mins ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, are among the buildings damaged.

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3 killed, 2 wounded overnight in Kenosha bar shooting

Three people died and two others were hospitalized with serious injuries after a gunman entered bar in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, the police department said in a statement on Sunday.

The latest: Officers arrested a "person of interest" Sunday afternoon in connection with the 12:42 a.m. shooting and there's "no threat to the community at this time," per a later police statement.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) after striking the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Liverpool F.C. and Real Madrid at Anfield in Liverpool, England, last Wednesday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Why it matters: The prime ministers of the U.K. and Italy are among those to express concern at the move — which marks a massive overhaul of the sport's structure and finances, and it effectively ends the decades-old UEFA Champions League's run as the top tournament for European soccer.