(SAVANNAH, Mo.) The COVID-19 vaccine arrived in some of the smaller counties outside of St. Joseph, including Clinton and Andrew County.
"So this is like the beginning of the end, right?" said Jayne White of the Andrew County Health Department. "Like, we kind of hope that this is you know, it's been a long year."
Over in Clinton county, the Moderna vaccines are still being administered and health officials say they should finish off the 100 doses by Tuesday.
"I mean, there's hope because you know, this is the first tiny step in a pathway out of this," said Blair Shock of the Clinton County Health Department. "We're kind of plugging the holes, so to speak."
Both Andrew and Clinton county said coordinating the process on administering the vaccines came with some challenges. According to Moderna, there is a six-hour time period that the vaccine can be given once the vial is open. Each vial contains 10 doses.
"From a logistical side, this is kind of a challenge," said Shock. "From the perspective of lining people up in groups of 10 so that we can vaccinate them, that's a little bit of a challenge and ensuring they're there within a six hour window." Jayne White from Andrew County added that at the end of they day, they are not going to let the vaccine go to waste.
Outside of the local health departments, long-term care facilities are in the process of receiving the vaccine.
White said "I know right now they're working with nursing homes and getting those covered, and that's through the federal program. Both of our nursing homes in Andrew County are set for their vaccination."
Health officials in Andrew County also commented that daily covid numbers are doubling. The Health Department has opened their doors again to the public to administer covid tests, and to continue offering other immunizations, benefits through their WIC program and other services.
Both Clinton and Andrew county now wait for the second round of 100 doses of the vaccine to arrive. Moderna's policy is to take the second shot 28 days after receiving the first.
Beyond this initial first round, local health officials do not know when they will receive more of the vaccine to continue to give to the next tier.
"I think that the question is is when will we have enough vaccine in the state or even in the US to be able to move to the next tiers?" White explained. "It takes lots of doses to get just tier one covered."