Last week's mass vaccination clinic in Moniteau County can ultimately be chalked up as a success, Moniteau County Health Center administrator Andrea Kincaid said Monday.
The two-day clinic at United Church of Christ in California resulted in a total of 1,159 vaccine doses administered, 680 of which were walk-in participants. The remaining 479 individuals had scheduled their visit ahead of time.
Kincaid said, originally, only 583 individuals were signed up in advance for the clinic, 104 of which were no-shows, prompting the shift to pushing for walk-in participants.
"We really weren't for sure," Kincaid said of what organizers expected as far as turnout was concerned last week. "We felt like we had to do something to get the participation. Because you get all those volunteers there, we felt like we needed to get more people there to take advantage of it."
The clinic was a full-scale joint effort; the Health Center partnered with Capital Region Medical Center, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Community Health Center of Central Missouri, the Missouri National Guard, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, Moniteau County 911/Emergency Management, and the Mid-Mo Ambulance District.
Groups like the National Guard were especially important to have as a helping hand, Kincaid said; since sign-up was paperless, the National Guard was the first step for the nearly 700 walk-in participants to get signed in on-site.
Ultimately, Kincaid said she's pleased with how the event turned out. She said there didn't end up being any vaccine wastage, as leftover doses were either distributed to walk-ins as needed or redistributed to other counties for their own vaccination events.
"As Region F, as of last week, we're the top region as far as vaccine doses administered to the population, the highest percentage in the state," Kincaid said. "Between all of us, the hospital systems and health departments, we have a very good relationship in getting vaccines redistributed."
Kincaid said Monday that last week's clinic gave a 2 percent boost to the county's percentage of individuals who have initiated the vaccination process, a jump from 19 percent to more than 21 percent.
The state of Missouri's vaccine data available at show mestrong.mo.gov estimates 21.5 percent of Moniteau County's population — or 5,679 doses, including both new doses and the full vaccination regimen — has initiated the vaccination process as of press time Tuesday.
"And that's what we see, generally, after these mass vaccination clinics, you'll see your percentage come up a little bit," Kincaid said. "That's great, we'll take it."
Vaccine eligibility opens for all Missourians this Friday. Kincaid said it's hard to tell how many Moniteau County citizens will ultimately get vaccinated, but she said she'd expect some hesitancy. Similar to earlier points in the pandemic, the Health Center will likely pivot toward working to educate the unvaccinated portion of the public more about the vaccine, Kincaid said.
For now, she said, Moniteau County is in a good spot. Moving forward, vaccination opportunities may extend to walk-in clinics at the Health Center, or post-work hour clinics for individuals who may be unable to leave their jobs for an appointment.
Those who received their first vaccination dose at last week's clinic can expect to return to UCC for their booster dose from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. April 20. Kincaid said participants should ignore any future emails about scheduling from the state's vaccine navigator, and instead plan on coming in around the same time they did last week.