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Missouri health leaders consider community vaccine events as state moves forward to Phase 1B

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 8:14 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is activating Phase 1B -Tier Two of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan on Monday, making high-risk individuals eligible for the vaccine.

State health leaders are suggesting community vaccine events as one way for people to receive their vaccine.

Mercy’s Chief Administrative Officer, Erik Frederick, says they are setting up hubs for COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

“Our goal is that no one drives more than 30 minutes to receive a vaccine at a Mercy location,” Frederick says.

State health leaders are suggesting community vaccination events as an option, similar to the community testing events that have been held across Missouri.

Frederick says health leaders in Springfield have been working together to start making plans for how they will move forward with vaccinating the community.

“MSU has been part of that conversation since they are a registered vaccinator with the state and have large spaces and things like that so we are absolutely looking at those,” Frederick says. “We’re anticipating that probably coming somewhere down the road when we get to that more general public vaccination.”

Kathryn Wall with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says they’re anticipating that most people will get vaccinated through the healthcare systems. However, Wall says the health department intends to fill any gaps within the community so everyone has the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they want it.

“If we do have barriers, if we have folks who can’t get connected to resources and we need to develop something like that, that’s certainly an option down the line,” Wall says.

People have to wait at least 15 minutes after the vaccine to see if they have a reaction. Frederick says the more people who get certified as COVID-19 vaccinators, the quicker people will be able to get vaccinated.

“If you are a person who’s licensed to give vaccines on a general basis, then if you get registered that may be another way to spread out and provide more sites that can give the vaccine, rather than trying to push everyone through the hospitals or clinics,” Frederick says.

Frederick says, within the Mercy system itself, it does have enough vaccinators right now.

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