covid vaccine

The Jefferson County Health Department, which had administered 12,217 COVID-19 vaccines as today (April 5), now has a vaccination appointment registration link on its website (jeffcohealth.org) that allows people to sign up for an appointment.

Previously, anyone interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine had to fill out an interest form and wait for a registration link to be emailed, but that form closed at 11:59 p.m. Sunday (April 4).

Brianne Zwiener, communications specialist with the Health Department, said more than 65,000 people filled out the interest form. She said anyone on the list will receive an email about the change and an invite for vaccination clinics this week.

Health Department Director Kelley Vollmar said she’s happy the agency has begun receiving and administering more vaccines.

“In the beginning we had more interested individuals on our list than vaccines. It seems we are beginning to turn a corner in having more vaccines than individuals on our list. It’s a good problem to have, and we are happy to open our links publicly to make it easier for residents to obtain a vaccine.”

The Health Department’s vaccine clinics will be open to people in Phase 1A, all three tiers of Phase 1B and Phase 2. On Friday (April 9), Phase 3, the final phase of the state’s distribution plan, will open, which means all Missouri residents will be eligible for the vaccine.

The Health Department expects to hold 14 vaccine clinics this month in the building it recently leased at 1275 N. Truman Blvd. in Festus, which previously housed a Schnucks store and before that a Shop ‘n Save store.

Comtrea, which also offers health care services around the county, has vaccine clinics scheduled this month as well.

Comtrea gives all vaccines by appointment only and will contact people who have registered for the vaccine and who are eligible to receive it under the state’s distribution plan to set up the appointments. To register with Comtrea, visit comtrea.org/vaccine-inquiry.

Mercy also has created an online sign-up method to help distribute vaccines to those eligible under the state’s vaccination plan. To sign up with Mercy, go to mercy.net/MOVaccine.

Other hospital systems and pharmacies also are registering people for the vaccines.

To find a local vaccine site, visit vaccinefinder.org.

COVID-19 stats

According to the Health Department’s latest COVID-19 update on April 2, the county had a total of 22,181 COVID-19 cases since the first ones were reported in March 2020, the Health Department reported.

Of those cases, 1,337 were connected to long-term care facilities.

The county also has had a total of 233 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Health Department.

As of today, Jefferson County was still in the orange level of the Health Department’s COVID-19 warning system. The orange status is the second highest on the four-color system and indicates widespread but controlled transmission of the coronavirus.

Health official urge residents to continue taking steps to curb the spread of the virus, including avoiding crowds, wearing masks, practicing social distancing and good hand-washing, and staying home when you are sick. They also encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

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