Most Ozark County residents are still waiting for covid vaccine
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Jan. 14 that, as of Monday, Jan. 18, Missouri is in Phase 1B of its covid-19 vaccination distribution plan. The announcement is good news for Missouri residents in high-risk categories for contracting the covid-19 virus. However, it’s had little effect so far in Ozark County, where relatively few Phase 1A-qualifying residents have been vaccinated because most authorized vaccinator sites haven’t gotten the vaccine yet. The governor’s Jan. 14 announcement acknowledged the problem, saying, “Although initial tiers within Phase 1B are being activated, there are currently not enough vaccines for everyone included in these groups.”
Phase 1A included residents and staff of long-term care facilities and frontline medical workers. In Ozark County, residents and staff at Gainesville Health Care Center received the first dose of the vaccine on Dec. 31. It’s believed to be the first (and so far, the only) covid vaccination event in the county. A second dose is to be administered at the end of January. GHCC administrator Sherri Beasley told the Times last week that residents and staff members who declined the vaccine on Dec. 31 can get their first dose during the second vaccination day at the end of this month.
A list of vaccinators is shared at the website www.MOstopsCovid.com. To use, click on “Residents” and scroll down to “When can I get vaccinated?” The last link on the page, “Vaccinator Map” currently shows two vaccinator sites in Ozark County: the Ozark County Health Department and the Missouri Ozarks Community Health clinic, both in Gainesville. However an OCHD employee said Tuesday morning the department has not yet received any vaccine.
Employees at the Gainesville Medical Clinic and the Theodosia Family Medical Clinic told the Times last week that residents may call to have their name put on a list to be notified when the vaccine is available for their designated phase and tier.
Phase 1B has three tiers: Phase 1B-Tier 1 includes fire and medical first responders and other emergency personnel, public health administrators and staff, and public works personnel.
Phase 1B-Tier 2 includes those age 65 and older, and individuals with chronic medical conditions or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
Phase 1B-Tier 3 lists “those who keep the essential functions of society running,” according to the MOstopsCovid.com website. That tier includes those involved in K-12 education, childcare, communications, food and agriculture, transportation systems, water and wastewater systems, and other groups.