NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – Several consecutive days of ice, snow and below freezing temperatures have impacted local health departments’ ability to hold coronavirus vaccine clinics.
“The weather certainly has not been cooperative,” says Newton County Health Department Director Larry Bergner.
A mass vaccination clinic scheduled for this week had to be cancelled in Joplin. That clinic was set to administer second doses to a thousand residents.
And the Newton County Health Department had to cancel two clinics that would have gotten initial doses of Moderna vaccine to 200 residents.
Those appointments have been rescheduled, but a lot of work had to be done for a second time.
“When you’ve done that one time, and then you’ve gotta go back and do it another time, of course that times time away. But, we’re just trying to split our duties,” says Rene Bohns, Nurse Supervisor at the Newton County Health Department.
Bergner tells us they were able to get most people’s appointments rescheduled — with a few people being unreachable.
“They then get moved to the front of the line for the very next appointment that happens,” says Bergner.
“We have a lot of older individuals that were scheduled. And so, a lot of them, they were actually worried that they were just gonna miss their appointments because a lot of them weren’t gonna be able to make it in anyway,” explains Bohns. “So, they were actually thankful that we rescheduled.”
Bohns says that having the doses of vaccine on hand and not being able to use them is frustrating, especially since they waited so long to get them in the first place.
But they are hoping for warmer days, and are working hard to get them into the arms of residents.
“Hopefully we’ll get pretty busy with vaccines, cause that’s what we need to take care of this,” says Bohns.
The rescheduled vaccine clinic in Newton County is set for February 23rd. Only those with appointments will receive a vaccine.
If you live in Newton County and wish to be added to the waiting list, you can do so by emailing your name, address, date of birth, age, telephone number, pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc., and any reactions if any to a previous vaccine you have had to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call (417) 451-3743, and use option 1. Leave your name and number and someone will return the call.