City of Desloge first responders and essential workers may be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in about two to three weeks, according to City Administrator Dan Bryan.
Bryan updated the Board of Aldermen during Monday night’s meeting about his communication with the St. Francois County Health Center.
They would be eligible when the state moves to Phase 1B.
“We’ve started to collect a list of the people who would want the vaccine,” Bryan said. “By the end of the week, we should have a pretty good idea of how many employees want it.”
The response so far, he said, has been really low.
Missouri residents eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1B include first responders, childcare workers, teachers and education staff, water/wastewater workers, energy workers, critical manufacturing workers, and food and agriculture workers, according to the state.
Also included are high risk individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 and all individuals over the age of 65. High risks factor are a BMI over 30, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic heart disease.
Missouri has administered more than 150,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday morning, according to Gov. Mike Parson who made the announcement on his Facebook page on Monday.
“Vaccinating our frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents as part of Phase 1A is our current focus,” he said. “We're also getting closer to vaccinating Phase 1B groups.”
There are an estimated 450,000 individuals statewide in Phase 1A, according to Parson.
For more information on the state’s vaccination plan, go to https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/.
The New York Times is tracking how the vaccine rollout is going in each state. According to the numbers, 2.4% of people in Missouri have been vaccinated and 150,070 shots have been administered and the state has used 36% of the 420,000 doses it was distributed.
These numbers can be found at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-19-vaccine-doses.html.
Long-term care facilities update
After months of being on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19, Farmington Presbyterian Manor began the process of vaccinating residents and staff last Saturday, according to a release from the long-term care facility.
“There’s no doubt the senior population has been hit hard by the virus, along with the health care workers who’ve treated them,” said Jane Hull, executive director at Farmington Presbyterian Manor. “We couldn’t be happier to know there’s finally a bit of light at the end of such a difficult time.”
The vaccine clinic was made possible through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Farmington Presbyterian Manor will receive the Moderna vaccine in limited doses, which will be given to at-risk residents in health care, assisted living and independent living as well as essential health care workers. All those vaccinated on Saturday will need to receive a second dose in 28 days.
Resident Millie Bradley said she was eager to receive her first dose.
“I am thrilled to be able to receive this vaccine,” said Bradley. “It’s encouraging to know there’s much to look forward to after a year of challenges. I can’t say enough about the incredible staff here at Farmington Presbyterian Manor and how they’ve handled the past year with professionalism and dedication.”
“My biggest reason for taking the vaccine is that I want our residents to be able to regain a sense of normalcy,” said Peggy Bland, director of nursing. “By taking the vaccine, I’m protected and I’m protecting them. Knowing that I’ll be able to do my job and provide residents with the peace of mind that I’m protected from the virus is a great feeling.”
While side effects related to the vaccine are rare according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Farmington Presbyterian Manor will closely monitor those who receive vaccinations. Potential side effects include injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever.
The vaccine being distributed at Farmington Presbyterian Manor is being administered by Walgreens, who has partnered with Moderna and the federal government to ensure safe distribution to at-risk populations during the first round of inoculations through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.
While vaccinations will lower the risk of transmission throughout the community, precautions remain in place, the release said.
According to their Facebook pages, both Camelot Skilled Nursing and Rehab and NHC Desloge have also started vaccinating their residents and staff.
NHC Desloge posted an update on Tuesday about their first vaccinations.
“Our first COVID vaccination clinic was a success,” a post stated. “A huge thank you to the staff at Walgreens and Happy Pharmacist Day. Also a huge thank you to all partners, residents and others who helped make this a success.”
Camelot posted last Friday that they finished the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine administration on Dec. 31. Thirty-three residents and 16 associates were vaccinated.
“It was a very seamless process,” the update said. “A big thank you to Walgreens and our associates in charge of the process. They did an amazing job with no issues.
They are scheduled for their next clinic on Jan. 28.
“As we start the vaccine process, this is a friendly reminder it is a two-step vaccine,” the update said. “We want to remind everyone that the facility will not immediately re-open after the clinics are completed. We will still have people that need to receive their second dose at our third clinic on Feb. 28. We will keep the lines of communication open as we follow the guidelines in retuning the facility to normal operations.”
Area COVID stats
According to the state COVID dashboard, St. Francois County has recorded four new COVID related deaths and 288 new cases in the past week.
The seven-day positivity rate is 17.8%.
There have been 7,043 cases and 79 deaths to date.
The Ste. Genevieve County Health Department reported three confirmed deaths and 34 confirmed cases since last Wednesday. The county has 38 active cases and has recorded a total of 1608 confirmed cases, 174 probable cases, 15 confirmed deaths, and one probable death.
In Madison County, the health department reported 41 new cases and one new death since last Tuesday. There are 73 active cases. The county has recorded a total of 1,411 cases and 31 deaths.
The Iron County Health Department has reported 53 new confirmed cases since last Tuesday. There are 29 active cases and have been a total of 901 cases and six deaths in the county.
In its weekly update on Monday, the Washington County Health Department reported two new deaths and 149 new cases. There are 137 active cases. The county has recorded a total of 2,574 cases and 41 deaths.
Nikki Overfelt-Chifalu is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com.