(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph Health Department announced Tuesday they will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare workers starting Wednesday.
Health Department staff said they received 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 800 doses will remain in St. Joseph to be administered to healthcare workers such as dentists, optometrists, physical therapists, and others in the medical field that have not received the vaccine already.
“We partnered with several region partners, health departments, and other healthcare providers so that some of the smaller agencies in our area could also receive the vaccine,” said Health Director Debra Bradley of the St. Joseph Health Department. “Since we are limited at this time to only receive Pfizer, the limited dosage is 975. So some of the smaller organizations were unable to order the vaccine, so we agreed to partner with them so they were able to get if they wanted 20 doses or 50 doses, they could get that.”
In the press release, the health department was notified by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) of a shipment of vaccine to arrive. Clinics will be held following Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHSS guidance to vaccinate those identified in Phase 1A which includes “patient-facing healthcare personnel and staff who may have direct or indirect exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and are unable to work from home.”
The health department noted that clinic services will not be available Wednesday through Friday as staff will be off-site administering COVID-19 vaccines. All other services will continue as normal.
Bradley said the state has not yet announced dates to move forward with vaccinating Tier 1B. She believes the next phase could start as early as the end of January or the beginning of February. Tier 1B includes first-responders, critical infrastructure, and those that are high-risk to severe COVID-19 illness.