New COVID-19 vaccinations in Buchanan County are nearly at a standstill, but there is slight hope the number will start to increase.

Buchanan County has a vaccination rate of just under 40% for people that have had at least one dose. Statewide, the total is right around 63%. St. Joseph Health Director Debra Bradley said there have been many residents getting boosters and additional doses, but that does not impact the total percentage of people who have initiated the vaccine process. She said many people have stayed firm in their decision to not get the vaccine.

“There are still a lot of people in our community that is convinced of not needing a vaccine. I would like to see that change, but it is still a personal choice. I just hope that people are able to remain well and safe,” Bradley said.

Bradley said some employers have required the vaccine in St. Joseph, but most of those requirements happened early on, so there has not been an increase in vaccination rates lately.

Most pharmacies have COVID-19 vaccinations available, and there will be a community testing event Feb. 24 and March 24 at Missouri Western in Remington Hall Room 105 where there will be the Pfizer vaccine for ages five and up, the Moderna vaccine for ages 18 and up and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people 18 and up.

Bradley said the community is starting to see some immunity post omicron wave, but this trend tracks with last year’s downtick in COVID-19 cases.

“If you look back to this time last year we had a large number of cases in November and December, then they started dropping off in February and March again, so I think it could be a natural progression of the virus as well as just the waves we are seeing,” Bradley said.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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