by: Scott McCaulley
While it is on the way, COVID-19 Vaccine has yet to arrive for at least two Health Departments in the Lakes Region.
In separate statements, both the Stone and Taney County Health Departments state that Vaccine is on order but has yet to arrive.
On the current “At Your Service” Podcast, Monica Mueller of the Stone County Health Department says the vaccine could arrive in a couple of weeks but that doesn’t mean they will be allowed to administer it immediately.
Meanwhile the Taney County Health Department has put out a release on the “Frequently Asked Questions” in regard to the vaccine.
The complete “At Your Service Podcast” with the Stone County Health Department is below followed by the information from the Taney County Health Department:
Release from the Taney County Health Department:
The Taney County Health Department (TCHD) continues to work with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MODHSS) to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to Taney County residents. Information regarding the vaccination plan from MODHSS is evolving every day. TCHD will continue to share information regarding the state plan and timeline as it is received from MODHSS. Below are answers to some of the most common COVID-19 vaccine questions.
What are the priority groups? Priority groups have been determined by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MODHSS), and each priority group must be vaccinated before the next group can begin.
These groups are:
• 1A – Patient facing healthcare workers and Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities and nursing home residents and staff. • 1B – First responders and essential workers, individuals with chronic conditions (age18-64) and those over age 65. • 2 – Populations at higher risk i.e. homeless or incarcerated • 3 – General populations groups.
I am high risk and elderly, why do I have to wait to get the vaccine? The MODHSS set the order by which all groups become eligible for the vaccine. Their plan is that the state moves through the groups as a state. This means that even if our county is done with 1A, and is ready to move on to 1B, we cannot until all counties complete 1A. No local public health agency is allowed to reprioritize people based on risk, age, or job.
When is TCHD going to get the vaccine and how much will they get? TCHD ordered vaccine the first day it was eligible to do so. The MODHSS determines who gets vaccine and how much they get. As of January 11th, 2021, MODHSS has acknowledged TCHD’s order but has not indicated when or how much will be shipped.
Should I come to the health department to be vaccinated? No. When TCHD receives the vaccine, it will be organizing vaccination events at locations in the community.
How do I sign up for a vaccine? Everyone will have to pre-register before getting the vaccine. There will not be a “first come, first serve” or a “walk in” option. Preregistration will not start until MODHSS has vaccine available for TCHD.
When will licensed Long term Care Facilities and nursing homes receive vaccinations? Pharmacies will be working with Licensed LTC facilities and nursing homes to get their staff and residents vaccinated. This should be happening in the next few weeks.
When will independent health care providers get vaccinated? These health care providers are considered 1A but are not affiliated with a healthcare system. The health department is working with these entities and once there is vaccine, it will be provided to this group.
What is the timeline? There are 56,000 residents in Taney County and each person receiving the vaccine will need to return for a second shot 28 days later. Additionally, neither the early vaccinators, nor the people receiving the vaccine will have immunity to COVID-19 meaning additional measures must be taken to protect the health of workers and citizens. This is a monumental task. Statewide, priority group 1A must be completed before anyone in the state can move on to 1B, and so on. Vaccine shortages are being anticipated that will further slow the progression through priority groups as every person in every group requires 2 shots, perfectly timed. TCHD will notify the public as we move into new priority groups.
Where can I get more information?
For more information contact the Taney County Health Department at 417-334-4544, visit our website at http://www.taneycohealth.org, or like our FaceBook, Instagram and Pinterest pages.