COLE COUNTY — Friday marks the first day the Cole County Health Department will no longer offer the COVID-19 vaccine in its office during the month of October.
Chezney Schulte, a communicable disease coordinator with the Cole County Health Department, said the department is focusing resources on flu shot distribution during October.
"Honestly, we just had our hands tied and it's not feasible to do both to do our flu clinics and COVID-19 vaccines," Schulte said.
The Cole County Health Department is not alone in its push away from providing the COVID-19 vaccines like it once did. The Columbia/ Boone County Department of Health and Human Services (PHHS) is only offering COVID-19 vaccines on Saturdays during the month of October.
Sara Humm, a spokesperson for the PHHS, said it's to meet the demand for flu shot clinics at schools and the community at large.
"We've been doing school-based flu clinics for 13 years now," Humm said. "It's a big part of what we do every fall."
The health departments in Randolph and Cooper County told KOMU 8 News that they would try for both COVID-19 vaccine and flu clinics during October so long as they receive enough of each vaccine to do so.
Howard County Public Health Department Administrator Marsha Broadus said their department will only offer flu shots because it does not have access to the Pfizer vaccines to host booster clinics.
Ron Rockwood, the director of medical services & population health at Jefferson City Medical Group (JCMG), said he's not concerned with vaccine availability in Cole County, despite the health department not offering the vaccine.
Rockwood said just this week, around 700 people received their booster doses with JCMG and he said they aren't planning on closing the COVID-19 clinic there anytime soon.
"Now that the vaccine is plentiful and in good surly we really don't have that issue anymore," Rockwood said. "I'm not concerned with Cole County not being able to offer the vaccine for the month of October."
JCMG is offering walk-in appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine throughout October.