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Health care providers make plans for public coronavirus vaccinations


Thousands of Boone County residents and University of Missouri Health Care patients have already signed up to say they're interested in getting the coronavirus vaccine.

As of Wednesday, more than 17,000 people have shown interest through the Boone County health department's online survey to receive their coronavirus vaccine.

University of Missouri Health Care as of Wednesday had its online survey open for five days and had 10,000 people show interest in getting the vaccine.

As many await for supply to become available, questions remain about where they can get the vaccine and when is the appropriate time to get it. For MU Health patients, the place they get the shot will not be their doctor's office.

Dr. Margaret Day, an MU Health family doctor and member of the vaccine committee, says that the online surveys are not a place to register for the vaccine.

"The purpose for those surveys is to allow people to get their information captured including contact information, so that when we have vaccine, people will be invited to set an appointment," Day said.

Missouri is currently in Tier 2 of Phase 1B of the state coronavirus vaccination plan. That tier includes people age 65 and older and those with underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. However, large-scale vaccinations of those in Tier 2 have not started in Boone County, with health providers citing a lack of supply.

The administration has been uneven across the state, with some counties already starting to vaccinate people in Tier 2. Some health care providers in Cole County have begun those vaccinations.

The CDC reports more than 265,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered statewide. The state has received more than 600,000 doses. Officials caution there is a lag in reporting numbers of vaccines administered.

Day said MU Health will not administer vaccines in primary care doctors' office. Patients can't walk into or call their doctor's office and schedule a vaccine appointment.

Instead, Day said, MU Health has opened clinics that give people a specific place and time to receive their vaccination. MU Health has identified Faurot field as a mass vaccination site and continues to look for other sites as vaccine supplies increase.

The public has had many questions about the vaccination process.

Lonnie Blackwood, 74 of Boone County, says he had COVID-19 in late November. His question for health care providers was if he supposedly still has antibodies in his system, should he wait to get the vaccine?

Day said Blackwood could wait for 90 days -- the expected duration of protection given by a previous infection -- but with the supply of the vaccination limited, she would advise everyone to get it as soon as it becomes available.

Day also said people with coronavirus antibodies won't be hurt by the vaccine as long as they're past the 10-day window after receiving a positive test.

Blackwood said he also wonders how important it is to get the second dose of vaccine within the prescribed time frame -- 28 days for the Moderna vaccine and 21 days for the Pfizer/BioNTech version.

He says he plans to travel, and with the uncertainty of when the vaccine becomes available, he does not know if the time period between would be doable for him.

Day advises the public to plan accordingly once you are told your vaccination date. She says to look ahead at your schedule at least 21 days to make sure that you can receive both doses.

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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.


1 Comment

  1. “questions remain about where they can get the vaccine” As well as whether they should take a vaccine that has had minimal testing for immediate safety and effectiveness, and none at all for long term. A vaccine against a corona virus which has never been successfully vaccinate against, ever. A vaccine with a history of a few months, as compared to most vaccines that have decades of history. A vaccine that does NOT have full approval, but “emergency” approval only. A vaccine that is still in its experimental stage. I wonder how many voluntary guinea pigs will show up?

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