COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The state's health department is now tackling issues brought by the growing supply of coronavirus vaccine doses and shrinking demand.
Data of the state's COVID-19 vaccination website shows the numbers trending downward, reporting the 7-day average of doses given has dropped to 28,046 as of Monday. The state's peak 7-day vaccination rate was 54,012 reported on April 11.
During the Department of Health and Senior Services' weekly call with vaccine providers across the state, leaders addressed questions about the drop in people getting the shot.
The director of the Division of Community and Public Health Adam Crumbliss asked vaccinators to pivot to smaller-scale vaccine events that are more targeted.
"And more importantly, effective and consistent messaging on the importance of addressing hesitation issues at the root cause level with individuals," Crumbliss said.
He said the best way for that to happen is through local physicians, but local health departments and community entities are key to addressing the issue.
Crumbliss said that the state is planning on opening the vaccine eligibility up even more to some non-Missouri residents. He did not give specifics as to what that population would look like but said more guidance is expected to come out later this week.
"Supply is not longer the rate limiter,"Crumbliss said.
A vaccinator asked state leaders if one person showed up for a vaccine and they had to open a vile for just one dose, is that ok. Lana Hudanick with the bureau of immunizations said the state is asking for written guidance right now.
"We do feel that if you have to open a vial to give that person a vaccine, go ahead and give it because if they leave, they are not coming back," Hudanick said. "And we would rather see a shot in the arm."
The department also recommended vaccinators use any leftover doses as second doses if providers have them coming up.
The Columbia/Boone County Health Department said it has seen a flip within the past month of supply outpacing demand.
Spokeswoman Sara Humm said the department hasn't run into issues of open a vial and not being able to find people, but said other counties in the area have started those discussions.
The concern of wasting doses has faded out of discussion, Humm saying the focus is on getting the vaccine into arms of Missourians.
"That conversation about wasted doses, you haven't heard as much about that lately cause there has been so much more supply that there was," Humm said. "You could go to many places today and get a vaccine, that was not the case a month or two ago, when wasted doses was really a conversation."
Watch ABC17 News at 9 and 10 for the full report.