MID-MISSOURI- With more people getting their COVID-19 vaccinations, less vaccines are needed. This decrease of demand is seen in Cole and Boone Counties.
According to the Cole County Health Department, they have requested zero vaccines from the Department of Health and Senior Services in the last several weeks.
The first week of April was the last time CCHD requested 4,680 doses of Pfizer, according to the health department. CCHD received those doses and is currently still using that inventory.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services received about 1,100 Pfizer doses during the week of May 17 to distribute as supplies last, according to Columbia/Boone County PHHS Information Specialist Sara Humm.
"Previously, we were only able to order about 100 to 200, maybe even 300 doses a week," Humm said. "Now we're able to order in much larger quantities because the supply is greater than it was at one point. That way, we're able to have enough on hand where we don't have to order in those smaller doses every single week."
Not only has the distribution rate changed, but both counties have shifted their focus to reach more members of their community.
“I think it's meeting people where they are,” Cole County Health Department Communicable Disease Coordinator Chezney Schulte said. “So much of the early push for the vaccine allocation was making it available to the people who were interested, just getting that vaccine in our community. And now that's really shifted to focus on how can we reach people who are interested in the vaccine that have yet to get access to the vaccinate.”
Humm said they have made vaccines more available to people by hosting clinics at various locations and schools.
According to the state vaccine dashboard, 38% of Cole county residents have initiated the vaccination process and 33.6% are fully vaccinated.
Chezney said that 38% is a nice number to see already vaccinated.
“Certainly, we'd love to see more, we'd love to continue educating the community and continue making that available,” Chezney said. “But we are seeing that the interest seems to be steadily declining in the people interested in receiving the vaccine as well.”
In Boone County, 47.5% of residents have initiated the vaccination process and 40.6% of residents have completed the vaccination process.
Chezney said that in previous months, the Cole County Health Department was not receiving enough doses for the number of people interested in getting vaccinated.
“Honestly in the beginning, sometimes that was zero doses in a week, maybe 100 doses in a week, sometimes 1,000 doses in a week,” Chezney said. “So it was very hard to guess and schedule those appointments to know. Certainly we had the vaccine interest at that point, but were we going to have the vaccine available?”
With vaccines more readily available in Cole County, Chezney said they are now just looking for people who are still interested in getting vaccinated.
“You will find that at the Cole County community site we are using vaccines that are currently in the community already, whether it be stock that Capital Region has, that Cole County Health Department has, that St. Mary's has, and sharing those doses to be able to use up what we have in our community to administer to the community,” Chenzey said.
The CCHD offers a permanent vaccination site at the Capital Mall that is open two days a week, Monday and Thursday. Boone County Health Department regularly hosts vaccination appointments at the health department.
For more information on vaccination sites, visit KOMU.com/vaccine.