February 19, 2021

Washington County Emergency Operations have coordinated two successful vaccination clinics in the past few weeks. The most recent, last week, delivered 1971 vaccinations for those who wanted the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and met the health and/or age requirements for the State’s current tier.

Washington County Health Department, Washington County Ambulance District, Washington County Memorial Hospital and Great Mines Health Center have worked to continue to deliver vaccinations to those who want the shot in the area.

The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine went to Washington County healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers, high risk populations (18-65), residents 65 and older on Thursday and Friday, January 28th & 29th, 2021 at the Ambulance District garage at the Industrial Park. Those area residents will be returning Feb. 25th & 26th for their second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

The public vaccination clinics held on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, Feb. 11th, 12th & 13th were again well planned and well received by the public. The Missouri National Guard assisted with the clinics and the set up was changed a bit because of the larger number.

Shawnee Douglas, director at the County Health Department said, “Things went very well and everyone cooperated. The County got the road roughed in and we didn’t have any traffic problems. The Guard was great and they helped anywhere we needed them. And again, our people stepped up and did a wonderful job.”

Everyone involved has gotten the clinic process down and it is working well from all appearances. The County’s Ambulance Garage is almost the perfect setup for the drive through clinic. The addition of the gravel drive off of Ameren Drive can help with traffic if and when needed.

The National Guard staffers seemed to be impressed with the way things worked and the people involved. One of the side notes which came up from several Guard members was, “Do you know everybody?” The fact that living in a rural community where a lot of folks know each other is a good thing.

The roughest job during last week’s clinics had to be for the folks that worked outside. Cold temperatures and snow where bad, but the wind and being outside for hours was rough on all involved.

The organizers (the E.O.C.) have all spoken highly of the people involved and the fact that people want to help their community, help their neighbors and the public.

The COVID-19 vaccination communication plan continues to progress with Washington County Commissioners, local law enforcement, and healthcare partners as they inform residents about who is eligible to receive the vaccine and when individuals might be scheduled for quick and easy access to local immunization sites.

The health organizations continue 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 well in to its phased plan for vaccine delivery. The local health organizations are now receiving limited deliveries to be able to offer vaccinations to the public.

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.

Washington County Health Department and Great Mines Health Center have been approved as vaccinators and continue to awaiting their next allocations of vaccine.

For those who want to be vaccinated, please get pre-registered through the County Health Department or the website.

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 the local plans accordingly. More information on who falls into each phase is available on the state’s website:

A paper registration form is available in ‘The I-J’ again this week, locally through the Health Department as well as going online at the site: to register.

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 established the plans that were used during the first two clinics with limited vaccine available for distribution. The process is becoming ‘tried and true’ and the collaboration continues to go well locally.

The registration is to ensure everyone who wants the vaccine will eventually receive the vaccine.

The public is encouraged to pre-register through the Washington County Health Department to get names and phone numbers on the list that continues to be compiled.

Pre-registration does not guarantee that the vaccine will be given on the next mass vaccination clinic, due to eligibility in the phase and limited quantities of the vaccine.

Continue to watch for continuing details and get pre-registered through the Health Department to start the process for a virus vaccination.

Stay safe and healthy and continue all precautionary practices.