COVID-19 Vaccines Available at Area Pharmacies, Health Depts. as State Moves to Distribution Phase II
By James McNary
Appointments to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are now being taken by area pharmacies, including Greenfield Pharmacy, Evans Drugs Lockwood Pharmacy, Ash Grove Pharmacy, as health departments in various area counties continue to offer shot clinics for residents. Vaccine availability has improved to the point that state public health authorities announced last week that Missouri would begin moving into Phase II of vaccine distribution, opening up availability from healthcare workers, educators, and other high-risk populations, to more workers classed as essential.
The pharmacies in Greenfield, Lockwood and Ash Grove are now offering pharmacist-administered vaccine shots, by appointment. All are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna, which requires two shots. Pharmacist Allison Freeze at Greenfield Pharmacy said that the best way to make an appointment is by calling the pharmacy directly, which Pharmacist Lauren Engle at Evans Drug in Lockwood also advised. Whitney Grove at Ash Grove Pharmacy said that appointments are filling up fast at that facility, as Greene County continues to have long waiting lists to receive shots from providers in Springfield or the county health department.
“We have the Moderna vaccine in stock but are struggling to get the message out to area residents,” said Grove. “Many of the people we have vaccinated were still on waiting lists in Springfield or at area health departments when they learned of us having vaccines available.”
At the Dade County Health Department, Administrator Pam Cramer said that the continuing Monday and Friday shot clinics have fully vaccinated between 1,500 and 2,000 as of early this week, averaging 125 individuals receiving shots per clinic. Cramer said that the DCHD, via its partnership with area health departments including Polk and Springfield-Greene, has been providing the two-dose Moderna vaccine. Cramer said that she is working on a single-day mass vaccination clinic that would provide the single-dose vaccine in the near future, but that plans have not yet been finalized.
“I think our county is doing great as getting everyone who can be vaccinated. We’re glad to vaccinate anybody that wants it,” said Cramer.
As the COVID-19 vaccine first became available, the DCHD initiated waiting lists, which Cramer said that staff have been working down over the past few months – and that as of Monday should be completed. The health department will probably begin offering one vaccination clinic per week as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely accessible via other providers, including pharmacies. Appointments for vaccinations would be taken via telephone at the DCHD.
“I’m very proud of our area, they’ve all worked very hard to keep things going and staying on top of things,” said Cramer. “I want to thank my staff, our volunteers and the whole community for their support as we’ve dealt with COVID-19.”
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