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Cole County to open coronavirus vaccination center in April


Cole County will open a coronavirus vaccination site at the Capital Mall once all Missouri adults are eligible for the vaccine.

The center will open the week of April 12, the Cole County Commission said Tuesday. The site will be set up to vaccinate 4,000 people each week.

Missouri will open up vaccine eligibility to all adults April 9.

The clinic will be in the old Party City store, which has an outdoor entrance. Capital Region Medical Center, SSM St. Mary's Hospital, Jefferson City Medical Group, the Community Health Center and the Cole County Health Department are partnering to open and staff the clinic, which will be open Monday through Thursday each week.

According to the Cole County Health Department, the National Guard will be assisting with the permanent vaccination site.

Residents will be able to sign up for appointments at the Capital Mall vaccination site through the vaccine navigator system. Kristi Campbell, director of the Cole County Health Department, said she's hopeful the link will go live next week for sign-ups.

"I'm pretty excited," Campbell said. "So setting up at the Linc or other facilities takes a lot of manpower and resources. So having such a vaccination site we'll be able to leave everything set up..."

Campbell said the site "will also be able to better serve all the surrounding counties."

The site will be offering vaccinations for anyone in area.

"It's not just Cole County that we're going to be taking care of," said Sam Bushman, Cole County presiding commissioner. "We are over Region F... so we're over like 13 counties, so these are going to be people from Audrain County, from Miller, from Osage, [and] Moniteau that can come here."

Bushman said the site is secured in a four-month lease with the option to renew month to month. Bushman said the facility costs $10,000 a month, which is being paid for with money from the federal government.

Cole County has the second-highest rate of residents receiving at least their first coronavirus vaccine shot among Mid-Missouri counties. Cole's 25.7% receiving at least the first shot is second in the area only to Boone County's 29.7%, according to state data.

The county has recorded about 8,000 coronavirus cases since the pandemic started and 117 deaths, including 54 in nursing homes. The rate at which new cases are being diagnosed has slowed dramatically in March, with no more than eight positive tests on any single day this month.

Check back for updates to this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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