JEFFERSON CITY – The capital city has been the main hub for vaccine availability in the county, but the Cole County Health Department is aiming to expand their reach.
"I think we are gonna see a transition to try to reach the community where they are," Cole County Health Department Communicable Disease Coordinator Chezney Schulte said. "We've seen that across the county with the Community Health Center... using their mobile unit to vaccinate in different areas."
The mobile vaccination unit from the Community Health Center has proven effective in providing wider access to more rural areas, despite low demand.
"It's been very great to have those vaccine units able to go to people," Schulte said. "Whenever you get 10, 20, 30 people vaccinated that haven't had a chance to get vaccinated so far, that's still successful day."
According to the state vaccine dashboard, 36% of Cole County residents have initiated the vaccination process and 29.6% are fully vaccinated.
Commissioner Sam Bushman said the county is working with local food banks and other organizations to host the mobile clinics.
"We can come to them," Bushman said. "We are going to try to make it as easy as we can for everyone."
Four mobile vaccination events are currently scheduled for this month:
- Tuesday, May 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Russellville from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 15 at Capital West Christian Church in Jefferson City from 9 to 11 a.m.
- Wednesday, May 19 at the Boys & Girls Club in Jefferson City from 4 to 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 26 at St. Martins Catholic Church in St. Martins from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Moderna vaccine will be given at the events, so anyone 18 years or older may receive a vaccine.
The change is also effecting the permanent vaccination site at the Capital Mall. The site will only be open two days a week, Monday and Thursday, to help limit waste.
Boone County began hosting local clinics last week. Walk-in clinics were held in Centralia, Hallsville, Sturgeon and Ashland.