Cooper County still waiting for date to receive vaccination for COVID-19

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

Coopper County still is waiting to receive its shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine

The Cooper County Public Health center is pushing the state for a vaccine delivery date, Director Melanie Hutton said.

“Category 1A has to be completed first before general population receives the vaccine,” she said.

Those who receive the vaccine are broken down into tiers and phases. Category 1A is for "all healthcare personnel and staff who have potential for direct or indirect exposure to COVID-19 and are unable to work from home," according to the state's vaccination plan. The first phase includes health care workers, while the third phase is for the general population. 

Missouri has administered more than 113,000 vaccinations produced by Pfizer and Moderna as of Jan. 7, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data via reporting from AARP. Emergency use of the vaccinations was authorized in December from the Food and Drug Administration. 

Category 1B for for the first phase of vaccinations includes Missouri residents ages 65 and older or those 18 years old with serious medical conditions. First responders and essential workers of child care staff, teachers and food and agriculture workers also are in Category 1B. 

The state's vaccination efforts currently are at certain hospitals and long-term care facilities. Once more doses are available, they will be distributed to more hospitals, doctor's offices, pharmacies and certain health centers and clinics, AARP reported. Drive-thru vaccination sites are being considered. 

Demand for the vaccine currently is higher than supply. 

The state continues to update its tiered priority groups through its COVID vaccine website. Gov. Mike Parson's office also regularly releases statements on the rollout. 

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, spread a few weeks apart for a person to be effectively immunized. After the second dose, it takes up to 10 days to reach optimal immunity. 

It’s not yet known how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine lasts and whether it needs to be administered on a regular basis like the flu shot. Experts recommend to continue wearing a mask in public after being vaccinated and observing social distancing. 

Cooper County COVID statistics

As of Jan. 6, Cooper County has logged 1,714 total cases of COVID-19. Of those, 1.489 people have recovered. The Health Center does count cases from the Boonville Correctional Center. Of the total cases, 1565 are Cooper County residents. The health center has logged 149 offender cases and 88 cases in nursing homes and assisted living centers. 

There currently are 60 active cases of COVID-19 in the county with three hospitalizations. There have been 16 deaths to date. 

The health center also reports cases by school geographical boundaries. Case numbers are for all people within the boundaries, not just at the schools.

There are 41 cases in the Boonville School District boundaries, 15 at Pilot Grove, seven at Otterville, Bunceton has four, Blackwater three and Prairie Home and out-of-county school districts each have one. School Boundary data is from Dec. 31 through Jan. 6. 

AARP writer Andrew Soergel contributed to this report.