Missouri State University plans to vaccinate students and staff starting Tuesday

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 8:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - School districts and colleges in the Ozarks are making plans to offer the coronavirus vaccine on their campuses.

Missouri State University received 150 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday. The staff at Magers Health and Wellness Center will start administering those shots Tuesday morning before 975 more arrive on Wednesday.

“It’s critical to get that protection and bend that curve back, to where we don’t have to be terrified in our daily lives about becoming ill or even dying,” said Dr. David Muegge.

Dr. Muegge, a physician at Magers, said it is vital to stick to the state’s COVID-19 procedure.

“It’s opened up for people age 65 and people between 18 and 65 that have one of several co-morbid conditions,” he said.

A vaccination clinic will start in Magers at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

“We’re starting with our first couple days of vaccination with employees and students,” Muegge said.

Muegge said his team will be able to administer 250-300 shots per day for the next week. He said if there are any vaccines left after focusing on high-risk students and staff, distribution will move to retirees and employees’ spouses.

“If one individual gets the vaccine but others in the family don’t have the vaccine, there’s still a risk because it’s not 100% effective so you need a healthy household,” he said.

Zac Rantz, with the Nixa School District, said vaccination can help keep students and educators healthy and in school.

“Just having this as an option, they can see it coming, it gives them hope,” Rantz said.

Rantz said his district has already surveyed employees and made a plan for who will get vaccines first, once the doses become available in Christian County. He said the plan includes spreading out shots across buildings, so staff shortages aren’t a problem in case of side effects.

“It’s going to be kind of along the lines of, hey, we’ve got 50 vaccines we can distribute, we just go down our list of the next 50 people, and say hey, show up here, here’s your vaccine time,” he said.

MSU’s Dr. Muegge said vaccinations are essential for the future of education.

“To be able to get this vaccine so people can resume those normal activities with their research, with their classes, with their internships and what not is really critical for their own personal development, for the university’s progress and for society,” he said.

Muegge said slots for Tuesday’s vaccination clinic at MSU filled up just within a few hours.

He said MSU would like to partner with the local health department to host a mass public vaccination event once more doses are available, since the campus has a large event center available.

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