Do You Want The Virus Vaccine? COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PREPARES FOR PUBLIC PHASE 1B
A pre-registration form is included in this week’s ‘I-J’ for those who wish to get on the list for the Covid-19 vaccination program.
Washington County Health Department, Washington County Ambulance District, Washington County Memorial Hospital, and Great Mines Health Center have unified efforts to plan for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to Washington County, Missouri healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers, high risk populations (18-65), residents 65 and older. A vaccination communication plan is being developed with Washington County Commissioners, local law enforcement, and healthcare partners to inform residents when they are eligible to receive the vaccine and developing a scheduling process for quick and easy access to local immunization sites.
Our organizations are required to work within the guidelines of the State of Missouri COVID-19 priority distribution plan. The state plan dictates what priority populations are eligible for the vaccine and when vaccinators are allowed to open immunization registrations to the next eligible phase. The state is currently in Phase 1A which includes patient-facing health care workers, staff who come into contact with patients, and long-term care facility staff and residents. Phase 1B is also activated, however the vaccine shipment for this phase has not arrived.
The immunization process started with healthcare workers facing the highest risk of exposure through direct contact with COVID patients then working through lower risk co-workers who have contact with any patients and visitors. Some long-term care facilities throughout the county have received vaccine through a federal partnership. We are awaiting information that all long-term care facilities have received vaccine. Washington County Health Department and Great Mines Health Center have been approved as vaccinators and are awaiting their next allocation of vaccine.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will determine when county vaccinators can move to the next phase of eligible recipients. Washington County Health Department and the Emergency Operations Center continue to monitor updates to the state distribution guidelines and will adjust our local plans accordingly. More information on who falls into each phase is available on the state’s website: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/residents/
Additionally, Washington County Health Department has an information line that can be reached at: 573-438-2164 option 7
The Washington County EOC-IC team has an operational plan ready to go when the vaccine is available for distribution. This is a collaborative approach to ensure everyone who wants the vaccine will receive the vaccine.
Pre-registration does not guarantee that the vaccine will be given on the first mass vaccination clinic, due to eligibility in the phase and limited quantities of the vaccine.
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