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Rural community sees steady vaccination turnout amid low attendance trend

Amid low attendance number at other vaccination clinics, Plattsburg sees steady turnout Friday.

Posted: Apr 24, 2021 8:44 AM

(PLATTSBURG, Mo.) Cars rolled in and sleeves rolled up at the Clinton County Health Department's parking lot Friday during a state-run vaccination site. 

A steady trickle of cars in and out wasn’t enough to cause a traffic jam, but was enough to keep staff busy.

Health department staff along with the Missouri National Guard gave out roughly 200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to patients at the clinic. 

"We’ve been waiting for the chance to do this we wanted to do it here in our home town," Ben Snell, a vaccinated Plattsburg resident said. 

The enthusiasm from patients seems to go against the current trends of lower attendance at vaccination events, county health officials said the small town’s location, between Kansas City and St. Joseph, plays a factor in turnout.

"In some cases it’s easier to get in here than other places," Blair Shock,  Clinton County Health administrator said. 

Shock added that while Friday’s attendance numbers buck the trend, it doesn’t mean health officials in the county aren’t seeing the effect of the lower turnout

"When we began vaccinating in January and February we were talking about vaccinating thousands of people at a time," Shock said.  "Now we’re [only] talking about vaccinating hundreds."

Shock also said his department is trying to tighten its focus on people who anticipate getting their vaccine, or those who are undecided. 

"We’re trying to reach out to those folks and convince them that it’s in all of our best interest to do that." He said. 

County health officials and residents all said this past winter was rough in the fight against Covid-19, which is why they all agree the more people can get vaccinated whether they live in the county or not, the better.

"That’s one step towards normality hopefully," Ingrid Snell, vaccinated Plattsburg resident said. 

About 160 appointment were scheduled at the curbside clinic. Health officials in the county say they want make vaccination events more accessible to the public now that the vaccine is more widely available. They want to expand to evenings and weekends to get more people vaccinated.

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