COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Over half the state of Missouri is now fully vaccinated, and the state health director says he's turning his focus to the unvaccinated half.
As of Saturday, 50.3% of Missourians are fully vaccinated, according to the state dashboard. Don Kauerauf, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, spoke with ABC 17 News about what this milestone means for the state and how the department will move forward with its vaccine initiative.
Kauerauf said he's glad the state vaccine rate has steadily increased as the holidays approach.
"Every vaccination we get is one less potential exposure out there," Kauerauf said.
"The next direction for us is that we're at 50%," Kauerauf said. "Now to get to another 25% of vaccinated that we need to to to really focus in on where we're seeing those gaps in Missouri."
To get the other half vaccinated, the department is turning its attention to certain groups of people rejecting the vaccine. Kauerauf said the department will look into targeted messages toward people least likely to get vaccinated.
"We may be going to faith-based organizations, we may be looking at community groups," Kauerauf said. "We're going to go to those that through our epidemiology have been able to identify where are those pockets and those gaps where people have not been vaccinated."
Watch ABC 17 News at 10 p.m.