Signups for the COVID-19 vaccine are continuing to decrease in St. Joseph, and herd immunity is seeming farther away.
Last week, Mosaic Life Care officials said they were looking at closing the St. Joseph vaccination clinic in April if demand for the shots continued on a downward trend.
Debra Bradley, St. Joseph health director, said that most of the county’s vaccine allotment will go to pharmacies if the clinic shuts down, and she agrees that if there is not a demand then the clinic becomes unnecessary.
Buchanan County continues to lag behind other areas of the state in the percentage of the population getting vaccinated. In the county, 15.4% of people have at least received the first dose of the vaccine. In the state of Missouri overall, 27.9% have received at least one dose.
“I just encourage people to call around and figure out which location has the vaccine they’re looking for and then go through them to get it,” Bradley said. “I do encourage people to please get your vaccine to help us to get things back to the way that we want them to be and in a safe manner.”
Buchanan County is still far from herd immunity as various health experts have said that is reached when around 80% of people have received the vaccine or have antibodies from having COVID-19.
“Herd immunity is just our public health way of trying to protect the most vulnerable who can’t protect themselves,” Bradley said. “That’s another reason why we do encourage the vaccinations is so that we can provide protection to as many people as we possibly can.”
For those looking for certain brands of the COVID-19 vaccines, Bradley suggests calling individual vaccination sites.
The second-dose mass vaccination clinic for those who were vaccinated on March 19 in St. Joseph will occur this Friday, April 9. People will have the same appointment times they had for their first dose.
Friday also marks the date when anyone older than 18 in the state of Missouri becomes eligible for the vaccine.