SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is asking people to stay vigilant even as COVID-19 cases decrease.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 27, the Health Department said they understand the demand for a vaccine in the county is high but the supply is not there.
“Supply has been our largest pain point. I don’t think that’s especially surprising,” said Clay Goddard, director of the Health Department. “This is the largest vaccination effort in United States history. This very analogous to testing and how that was in the beginning. Please recall, we didn’t have enough testing. Everyone was very anxious for testing and over time it will slowly fix itself.”
The vaccine’s limited supply is prompting some Greene County residents to seek the vaccine in other counties.
“We have been waiting,” said Lacey Nunnally, a Greene County resident. “We’ve contacted both health providers here in town. We’ve contacted clinics. We’ve contacted our physician. Nothing. What we don’t understand is why our friends in other areas of Missouri are saying that they’re 65 and they’ve had their COVID vaccination already.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) encourages all providers to vaccinate any Missouri resident as long as they meet the state’s current tier requirement and vaccines are available.
“I just assumed that I needed to be a good citizen and stay within my little confines of Greene County but no,” said Nunnally. “We’re having to be our own advocates. I want to encourage people: advocate for yourself. Call the health departments. Go wherever you need to go to get that vaccination. We need our state vaccinated.”
Goddard said the department is working with the state on getting a National Guard mass vaccination in Greene County.
The Taney County Health Department director, Lisa Marshall, gave details on vaccination and what protocols are being taken with people crossing state lines to get the vaccine.
Our priority is to first vaccinate Missouri residents. If one is not a resident of Missouri, but their primary care provider is in Missouri or their Missouri-based employer is hosting a vaccination event, then they should work with their primary care physician or employer to receive the vaccination. If one does not have a primary care provider and is not a resident of Missouri, they are asked to contact their local public health department in their county of residence. Additionally, some providers may be prioritizing their county residents, but DHSS is encouraging all providers (if vaccines are available) to vaccinate any Missouri resident. Keep in mind when scheduling your vaccine, you should receive the second dose of the vaccine from the same provider as the first dose.Lisa Marshall