News to Know (07/09/2021)

Springfield, Mo – Pfizer says it’s now ramping up efforts to roll out a Covid-19 booster shot to help increase immunity. They are also working on a newer version of its vaccine to target the fast-spreading Delta Variant. That comes as the CDC Director says more than 9 million Americans now live in parts of the country where Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are spiking significantly among people who have not been vaccinated.

Jefferson, Mo – Missouri Governor Parson works to tamp down rising concerns as Missouri becomes the nation’s leader in Covid-19 caseload. Data from Johns Hopkins University show that Missouri’s case load is 15 and a half new cases per 100-thousand people daily. Those numbers are fueled, in part by the fast spreading Delta Variant. The variant  was first recorded in Branson, Missouri, and now has been found in nearly every part of the state. That’s sparking warnings from health officials that what’s happening in our region, could happen in other parts of the country.

Oklahoma City, Ok – A U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe’s office is requesting 4 million dollars in Federal Funds to help combat illegal Oklahoma marijuana growing operations. Inhofe’s Chief of Staff says the Republican Senator has requested a direct appropriation through the U.S. Justice Department. He says the money would allow the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to establish a unit to combat “transnational and national drug organizations”. Sheriffs and other Law Enforcement groups say illegal marijuana growers are setting up in rural parts of Oklahoma and funneling cannabis into the illegal drug trade.

McDonald County, Mo – The McDonald County Sheriff’s office, Wednesday arrested a kidnapping suspect. Authorities say 28-year-old Edmundo Cordero of Noel, Missouri was wanted on charges of kidnapping, domestic assault, and first degree burglary. When Officers tried to arrest him he ran but was caught. He is being held at the McDonald County Jail.



Pfizer vaccine available at CHC/SEK for people 12 and older

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Community Health Clinic of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) is now offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to ages 12 and older. The dose shot is given 21 days apart.

Parents or guardians can request a vaccine appointment for their child on the CHC/SEK website chcsek.org. Click the COVID Vaccine Request button. After selecting the “first dose” button, there is an option to select the Pfizer vaccine. CHC/SEK representatives will contact the recipients to schedule a date for the vaccine.

For those without web access, the health center has a toll-free number, 866-888-8650 and a second number for Spanish-speakers 620-240-8940 to make vaccination appointments.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also has endorsed the Pfizer vaccine for the 12-and-up group and agreed that it’s OK to give more than one vaccine at the same time, especially for children who are behind on their regular vaccinations. More than 3.78 million children have been infected with SARS-CoV-2cases and at least 303 have died, according to the AAP.

As with all COVID-19 vaccines, there is no out-of-pocket costs to vaccine recipients.


Canada authorizes Pfizer vaccine for age 12 to 16

TORONTO (AP) – Canada’s health regulator has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 16, a person familiar with the decision the told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak ahead of the upcoming announcement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for young by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. The announcement comes barely a month after the company found that its shot, which is already authorized for those age 16 and older, also provided protection for the younger group.

Pfizer in late March released preliminary results from a vaccine study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15 showing there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents compared with 18 among those given dummy shots.

Kids had side effects similar to young adults, the company said. The main side effects are pain, fever, chills and fatigue, particularly after the second dose. The study will continue to track participants for two years for more information about long-term protection and safety.

Vaccinations have ramped in Canada in months and expects to receive at least 10 million vaccines this month. More than 34% of Canadians have received at least one dose.


Mercy Hospital offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccines

JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy Hospital Joplin announced it has enough supply to offer walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations.

Missouri residents can receive their shot without setting up an appointment on Wednesday, April 21 and Friday, April 23. These are first-dose Pfizer vaccinations only.

Missourians can also schedule an COVID-19 appointment at mercy.net/vaccine.


Leavenworth VA clinic extends hours to provide walk-in vaccines

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System (VAEK) will offer extended hours to provide COVID-19 vaccines to area veterans of all ages enrolled in VA health care. VAEK includes the Leavenworth & Topeka VA Medical Centers and 8 rural clinics throughout eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

VAEK will offer Veteran walk-in opportunities for those unable to get out during the normal duty hours. In addition to the current hours at its off-site location, VAEK will now offer an extended hours clinic running on Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., beginning March 25 at the VA Contracting Office.

VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System has provided over 21,000 total doses of vaccine to include the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine.

Veterans not enrolled in VA Health Care are encouraged to contact them at 913-275-1408 to start the eligibility & enrollment process or visit: www.va.gov


Mercy Hospital offering walk-in vaccinations today and tomorrow

JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy Hospital Joplin announced Monday morning it has enough supply of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to continue offering walk-in vaccines.

On Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mercy will provide vaccines without an appointment to Missourians who qualify under the state’s current guidelines. That includes people 65 and older, 18 and older with health conditions that make them high-risk, health care workers, first responders and other emergency personnel.


Newton County Health Department to receives 975 vaccine doses

NEOSHO, Mo. – Newton County Health Department administrator Larry Bergner says the department is getting 975 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week.

Bergner says the department will be partnering with Prater’s Pharmacy in Seneca, Missouri, and Mitchell’s Pharmacy in Neosho, Missouri to provide greater access to the vaccine in the county.

“This 975 for our small clinic would be overwhelming,” says Bergner. “But with those partners in place we can bring more resources in, and we can take care of these 975 doses in good shape.”

The health department is having an appointment only clinic on Thursday, February 25 in Neosho. The pharmacies are setting clinics at their locations.