BOONE COUNTY - Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services will hold vaccination clinics in Ashland and Sturgeon over the next week to increase accessibility for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ashland's clinic is on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Southern Boone High School. Sturgeon's is next Tuesday, May 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sturgeon Youth Center.
The clinics come during a time of decreased vaccine demand in Boone County and the country. A spokesperson for the Columbia/Boone County PHHS explained how the county is dealing with the decrease in demand.
"We really saw a change in demand for the vaccine when it opened up to every Missouri resident who's 16 or over," Sara Humm said. "The influx of additional vaccines certainly helped even out the supply and demand, and now there's a very good chance that you can schedule a vaccine appointment on the same day."
While 43.6% of Boone County residents have started the vaccination process, the demand for getting a shot has gone down in the last month. The health department explained this comes from a significant increase in supply and some hesitancy from the public to the vaccine.
"We have folks who maybe it's not a priority for them to get vaccinated or maybe they still have questions," Humm said. "Our goal is to share information with them about where they can get a vaccine and also answer all of their questions about the process."
The upcoming clinics in Boone County do not require an appointment to get a vaccine. Walk-up residents are welcome to get the shot. Humm explained how not requiring appointments can increase the accessibility of getting a vaccine for residents.
"Walk-in clinics can make it harder to plan for the number of vaccine doses because you don't have a set number of appointments," Humm said. "We're offering these clinics so that it's not another barrier for someone wanting a vaccine if they don't want to go through the hassle of scheduling an appointment."
Unused doses at the clinics this week will be redistributed to the community through the health department. Humm stated how there are lists of people waiting to get their vaccine that are contacted if extras are available. Some doses will go into storage if unused after the events.
Even with local and national decrease in demand for the vaccines, there is still enough people wanting a shot to continue with mass vaccination clinics in mid-Missouri.
"We see enough demand where we can tell that these communities clinics are still needed, especially in areas we haven't been to before," Humm said. "A time may come when we need to shift and adjust our approach but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
The upcoming clinics are for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A follow up clinic for the second dose will take place exactly three weeks from the initial clinic. KOMU 8 has an entire page dedicated to vaccine information.