Health departments across the area are beginning to secure more vaccines for long-term building residents; staff health care workers; as well as emergency health care technicians-- all fall in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine plan for Missouri.
Earlier this week, the Cape Girardeau County Health Center announced that the area is in Phase 1A, and 1B Tier 1 and 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine plan for Missouri. Phase 1B, Tier 1, is reserved for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters. Tier 2, includes individuals with high-risk health conditions.
On Friday, there was a mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Show-Me-Center. The appointments filled up quickly, and as the day arrived, all slots were full. Maria Davis, public information officer with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center discussed the demand.
"So, this is our largest mass vaccination clinic that we have had this far." Davis emphasized the enormity of the operation. "We're doing about 2,000 vaccines today. We have been doing clinics three or four times a week since the beginning of January."
The mass vaccine clinic on Fri. Jan. 29, at the Show-Me-Center, was in partnership with the Missouri National Guard, providing support for the operation.
Friday's shipment included the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, but the Moderna vaccine will also be available as more shipments arrive. Vaccines will be available at other locations throughout the area during this phase, but you must sign up and make an appointment.
Maria Davis encouraged those interested to sign up now. "You can go to the 'Keep Cape Strong' website. On there, [you can find] all the waiting lists in Cape County, and we just recommend they sign up for all of them. Ours is on there for the entire county."
You are not required to be a resident of Cape County to sign up on the notification site.
SoutheastHEALTH has also created a waiting list for the vaccine within their healthcare system. It can be found at SEHealth.org/COVID.
There will be more mass vaccination clinics in the future as more vaccines arrive.
Davis explained the plan for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
"The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, so this first dose is what we're doing today. And, in about three weeks from now, they will need to come back for their second dose, and we'll have a clinic just like this again."
On Wednesday, The State of Missouri's COVID-19 dashboard showed 10.2% of Cape Girardeau County residents had received the first dose of the vaccine--compared to the 4.7% vaccination rate statewide. Over 135,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the past 7 days throughout the state of Missouri. Still, COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with over 8,700 new cases reported in the state of Missouri in the past seven days.
Learn more about the COVID-19 distribution plan in the region, on this weekend's "Going Public" on Sun. Jan. 31, at 3 p.m.