Promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine continues locally as health-care administrators are urging their workers and eventually the public to get the shot.
Several top officials at Mosaic Life Care, including Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Laney, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Davin Turner and Chief Quality Officer Dr. Edward Kammerer received doses of the vaccine Tuesday to promote the safety and efficacy to frontline caretakers and the public.
Laney said the leadership within the hospital reviewed the vaccine and believe it is safe and feel it was necessary for the leadership team to get the shots early in the distribution process in order to provide reassurance.
“... it really is a statement that we believe in it and and our caregivers need that reassurance. And I’m sure the public needs that reassurance as well,” Laney said.
A new variant of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom has brought the question of whether the current vaccine will work on the mutated strand. Officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said they are confident in the current vaccine.
“According to medical experts, including current and former U.S. Surgeon Generals, there is no reason to believe that the vaccines that have been developed will not be effective against new virus strains as well,” the department’s website states.
Blair Shock, health administrator for the Clinton County Health Department, echoed similar sentiments.
“The initial analysis indicates that the vaccine will likely be just as effective in targeting the mutation versus the original strains of this virus that the vaccine was developed with,” Shock said.
Shock said he has been told the mutation is a relatively small change in the shape of the spike protein and it appears that the antibodies that attack the original spike protein are the same.
Officials with the City of St. Joseph Health Department said in a news release Wednesday afternoon that they are working to finalize a vaccine distribution plan that would include Tier 1A medical providers wishing to protect staff with the COVID-19 vaccine.
The distribution plan for providers that are not part of a health-care system has its own vaccine allotment.
These providers must make a declaration of interest to the health department in order to be included in the request the health department sends to DHSS. Providers have until Dec. 31 to respond to an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVIDVacClinic.