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Although all Missourians can now be vaccinated, health care experts say mask-wearing is still equally important


Health care experts say although the number of people vaccinated continues to increase, even people who are fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks.

Phase 3 was activated Friday making all adult Missourians eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Dr. Robin Blount, chief medical officer at Boone Health, said, "it's very clear that we aren't at a point yet where you know that everyone around you is vaccinated and not vulnerable."

Blount wants to remind people that are just now eligible that even if they are vaccinated they could still be carrying the virus and manage to give it to someone else.

According to the state dashboard, 36.9% of the Boone County population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is the highest jurisdiction in the state. Over 20% of residents in Boone County have also completed getting the coronavirus vaccine.

Ashton Day with the Columbia/Boone County Health Department said, "the vaccine is great, but we are still learning a lot about it."

Day said although people are continuing to receive the vaccine, the mask wearing guidance depends on the amount of cases in the area as well as the positivity rate.

As of Friday, the cases have increased in Boone County compared to the week prior. The health department said there are currently 110 active cases compared to only 48 one week before.

Blount said health care experts are finding out that the number of people who have had the virus is underestimated because of mild causes and lack of symptoms causing people to avoid testing.

"We also know that natural immunity is not as good as the vaccine immunity," said Blount.

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department held an outreach clinic Friday at The Blue Note in downtown Columbia to make efforts to make the vaccine easily accessible for people in that area.

Blount said Boone Health is in communication with businesses to get people vaccinated who are working throughout the day and may not have a convenient time to leave and get vaccinated.

There are also plans to continue to reach minority groups by reaching out to pastors and community leaders to continue to get the word out about the importance of the vaccine.

Dr. Troy Brennan, CVS Health executive vice president, said the widespread of locations that CVS has makes it convenient for people to get the vaccine. "We have the best chance at being able to reach the public," said Brennan.

Vaccine providers in the state can be found on the state vaccination website.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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