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Springfield offering COVID-19 shots at library, zoo, ice park and more to try and improve vaccination rate

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you can’t come to them, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is trying to come to you in an effort to get you a COVID-19 vaccination.

On Monday of this week they were giving shots at Nathaniel Greene Park.

On Tuesday you could get inoculated at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library.

And if you’re still wanting an opportunity, there are more chances this week:

Wednesday-Schweitzer Brentwood Library, 3-5 p.m.

Wednesday-Jordan Valley Mobile Clinic at Walnut Grove City Hall, 8-10 a.m.

Thursday-O’Reilly Center for Hope, 9 a.m.-noon

Thursday-Jordan Valley Mobile Clinic at Walnut Grove UMC, 10 a.m.-noon

Friday-Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 10 a.m.-noon

Saturday-Jordan Valley Mobile Clinic at Life360 Church, 5-7 p.m.

There are also other vaccination clinics from the health department in the weeks ahead:

June 2-Dan Kinney Family Center, 9-11 a.m.

June 16-Jordan Valley Ice Park, 12-3 p.m.

June 26-Doling Family Center, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

July 17-Dickerson Park Zoo, 9 a.m.-noon

So why the push to meet people where they normally relax and recreate to get them vaccinated?

“For a lot of people it’s not that they don’t want the vaccine, it’s just they haven’t had time to make getting the vaccine a priority,” answered Springfield-Greene County Information Administrator Aaron Schekorra. “So everything we can do to make it as accessible as possible will make it available to more people.”

Trying to reach more people is important because the current rate of vaccination in the county has flattened out at 36 percent, far less than the 50 percent goal officials had hoped for by the time Springfield drops its mask mandate on Friday. It’s also far less than the health department’s herd immunity goal of 70 percent.

And of course there are those who say they won’t be getting the vaccine.

“It’s more nuanced than that,” Schekorra contends. “There’s some people who will get it. They just may not be ready yet. Then there are those people that we just need to make it as easy and accessible as possible so that when they have the time they’ll get vaccinated. The burden of this disease is going to continue to be on those who have not been able to get vaccinated yet. Our community needs to prioritize getting vaccinated so that we can have a safe summer and start moving out of this pandemic.”

The events that involve the Springfield-Greene County Park Board also come with incentives to reward those who get vaccinated.

“At Jordan Valley Ice Park we are offering a free ice skating date to anyone who gets vaccinated on location that day (June 16),” said Jenny Fillmer Edwards, the Park Board Information Administrator. “We have a free zoo admission day (for those who get vaccinated at the zoo) coming up in July. We’re also offering a vaccine incentive card at our other locations which is sort of the park’s thank you for getting vaccinated that day. It’s a card that has a variety of discounts for rental activities. Things like boat rental, ice skating and a swimming pool discount.”

At all these clinics the two-dose Pfizer shot and the one dose Johnson-and-Johnson vaccines are available with only Pfizer approved for those below age 18. Parent/guardian consent is also required for those ages 12-17.

And while walk-ups are welcome, preregistering online is advised at covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator.

“Taking the time to preregister is really going to speed up the process for you,” Schekorra pointed out. “If you have preregistered and have that patient ID number through the vaccine navigator, when you get to the event oftentimes you can skip the line because we’re working with those individuals who still need that information.”

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