JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Jefferson City Council met Monday to give a pandemic update on where to get vaccinated and where to get tested as COVID-19 numbers across the county and state continue to trend upward.
Dr. Thomas Robbins with the Jefferson City Medical Group said during the meeting, "We urge everybody to consider what we talked about in the past with social distancing and mask-wearing."
The Cole County Health Department added 228 cases today. Of those, 56 were cases from June, 36 occurred from July 1 to July 6 and 48 were breakthrough infections. Since March 1, there have been 159 total breakthrough infections in the county.
Robbins said the biggest problem the community is facing now is the younger population not getting vaccinated. According to the numbers in Cole County, about 16% of our cases are in the under 20 age group.
Also on Monday, Governor Mike Parson participated in a conference call with K-12 administrators. The discussion will include the upcoming school year and how to educate and encourage coronavirus vaccines among the state's younger age groups.
Dr. Lenora Adams at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City said out of those breakthrough patients, they have only had to admit eight meaning that the vaccine is shown to be effective at keeping the severity of the virus at a low level.
Monday is the last day for students who attend the Jefferson City School District to start the vaccination process and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by their first day of the school year on Aug. 23.
Adams said at SSM they have not had to admit any children to the hospital as their risks of getting severely ill with Covid-19 is low.
A spokeswoman for Parson said he emphasized wanting Missouri students in the classroom this fall saying that in-class learning is more effective.
Parson said it is the personal responsibility of parents and students to decide whether or not they get vaccinated and he will not be mandating vaccines in Missouri. However, Parson emphasized it is our job to encourage, educate, and make vaccines as easily accessible as possible and communicate the importance of getting vaccinated.
"If you're a parent trying to decide what the best thing to do is for your child, I would encourage making an appointment with your pediatrician about the risks and benefits to getting the vaccine," said Adams.
At the meeting, Mayor Carrie Tergin said that all health care organizations are offering vaccines in doctor's offices and clinics daily. Vaccines are also available at the Cole County Health Department on Thursdays and retail pharmacies daily.
Health Director Robert Knodell also gave health updates and told district leaders that DHSS would have guidance ready for them by Friday regarding next school year.
Adams is in favor of continuing mitigation strategies during the 2021-22 school year as case numbers remain high and younger students seek access to the vaccine.
Pfizer anticipates results on its clinical trials in kids ages 5 to 11 sometime in September.