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Health officials seeing a slight increase in vaccine demand as adolescents become eligible

Pfizer Vaccine at Sturgeon vaccination clinic
A dose of Pfizer vaccine is drawn by nurse at a Sturgeon vaccination clinic.


Local health officials say they've seen a small increase in vaccine demand since the 12 to 15 age group became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine a week ago.

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services department has put in an order for more Pfizer doses. This is the department's first vaccine order in almost over a month. Sara Humm, spokesperson for the health department, says they've managed work through the supply of vaccine doses that were on hand with their recent outreach clinics.

“The vaccinations that we have given recently has been from a supply that we had of doses that were leftover from their previously scheduled clinics, mass vaccination clinics and things like that, so getting to the end of the supply that we had on hand specifically Pfizer and so we put in an order for additional Pfizer because that is the vaccine that, that 12- to 18-year-old age group can receive and so being able to have more of that on hand so we can vaccinate those children in that age range," said Humm.

Humm says the department has seen a slight increase in vaccine demand with the newly eligible population, but it's something the department sees every time a new group becomes eligible. “Any time that we have a new group that’s eligible to receive the vaccine right away there’s a higher demand and then that kind of trickles off," said Humm.

Denis Hamilton, the Director of Pharmacy Services for Capital Region Medical Center, says the Capital Mall Vaccination Clinic has seen an increase in walk-ins and vaccine demand.

"We have seen a small uptick in participants age 12 to 15 but for the most part numbers are down significantly from what we saw weeks or months ago outside of the fact that we did have the added the population that could get vaccinated last week, so that has to help. Yesterday I think we did 160-something vaccinations, Today we were at about 82," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says the Capital Mall Clinic has not had to order any additional vaccine doses since it's open, as it's still trying to work through the supply it has.

"We actually have a surplus that we’ve been sitting on and that’s been dwindling with the fact that we’ve been out of the mall. We’re down to probably maybe 500 or so doses that will be hopefully used tomorrow Thursday and then we’ll continue to do the clinic those 2 days a week the following week and just Thursdays following that so I think we’ll find utilization of what we have," said Hamilton.  

Starting next week the Capital Mall clinic will scale back its hours due to the consistent decline in demand. The clinic will now operate 2 days out of the week rather than 4, changing its hours of operation to Monday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hamilton says the clinic may be re-evaluated after next month due to the vaccine availability in Cole County.

"I think after June we’ll kind of re-evaluate the need for the Cole County clinic at the mall and determine if we’re able to provide any additional resources or benefits that are going to get more folks vaccinated in the Cole County area," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says he believes more parents are planning to bring their children to the clinic to get vaccinated next week as Cole County schools are ending their spring semester early.

Boone County has administered 153,464 vaccine doses as of Tuesday; of that 71,634 residents have completed the vaccination process, making up 39.7% of the county's population.

Cole County has administered 51,859 vaccine doses as of Tuesday; of that 24,844 residents have completed the vaccination process making up 32.4% of the county's population.

The state has administered 4,333,614 vaccine doses, as of Tuesday; of that 2,027,709 Missourians have completed the vaccination process, making up 33% of the state's population.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Victoria Bragg

Victoria Bragg joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in October 2020.

She is a graduate of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas and is a Dallas native.


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