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Missouri Gov. Parson to announce vaccine incentives

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri’s Republican Gov. Mike Parson is set to announce COVID-19 vaccine incentives.

Parson’s office says he’ll unveil perks for getting vaccinated at a Wednesday press conference in his Capitol office. Parson has said he’s hesitant to offer prizes or other rewards for doing something that he considers a personal responsibility. But he’s also said that he’s considering all options to increase vaccination rates in the state, which is dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated people.

The state health department reports that about 40% of Missouri is vaccinated.

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Missouri vaccine outreach aims to be non-confrontational

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – With the delta variant causing a surge of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in southwestern Missouri, health officials have taken to going door-to-door in an effort to encourage vaccinations.

(Previous story: Missouri governor says door-to-door vaccine push would not be effective)

The Kansas City Star recently followed along as health officials knocked on doors in Springfield, handing out brochures. The newspaper reports that the effort was non-confrontational and the officials always took “no” for an answer, despite concerns raised by Gov. Mike Parson and other Republican leaders that the outreach would be heavy-handed.

Southwestern Missouri has seen an alarming rise in illnesses caused by COVID-19 in recent weeks.

 

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News to Know (07/16/2021)

Albany, NY- New York, Governor, Andrew Cuomo is expected to be questioned on Saturday in connection with the probe into allegations of sexual harassments and misconduct against him. That’s according to a source familiar with the New York attorney general’s investigation into the Governor. Cuomo also faces an impeachment inquiry in the state assembly.

Airport Drive, Mo- Jasper County authorities are searching for two suspects in connection with a shooting in Airport Drive.
the Sheriff’s Department says witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the parking lot of Harps Grocery Store around 1:35 p.m. Thursday. Investigators say they found evidence in the parking lot of a possible shooting including evidence of quote “possible injuries”. Authorities say they’ve located the victims, a 22-year-old Webb City, woman and a 33-year-old man from California. The Jasper County Sheriff’s office released a description of the possible suspects. Police say the driver was a black man, driving a dark red Kia SUV, his passenger, another suspect, is a black man with four braids in his hair and neck tattoos.

Monett, Mo- a Monett Missouri man is dead following a Zero Turn lawn mower crash Thursday evening. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol 72-year-old Raymond Haddock lost control of the lawn mower and overturned into a creek. Haddock was pronounced dead at the scene.

Joplin, Mo- An uptick in Missouri Covid-19 cases has led to a bigger push to get vaccinated. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services labels several Southwest Missouri areas as Covid-19 hotspots, including Joplin and Jasper and Newton Counties. The Jordan Valley Community Health Center held a vaccination clinic in Joplin to help reach those still hesitant about getting their shot. They say by doing outreach with their mobile vaccine unit, they hope to see more of Missouri’s population vaccinated.

 

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News to Know (07/15/2021)

Western, U.S- Thousands of Firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires across large parts of the Western U.S. More than a million acres of land have burned in about a dozen states. That as U.S. Fire officials report a shortage of jet fuel that could ground some planes used to drop retardant on fires.

Joplin, Mo- Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in the 4-state area, and it’s a major cause for concern for Joplin’s Freeman Coronavirus Team. Freeman Cardiologist Robert Stauffer is trying to convince the unvaccinated public to get their shots and addressed the media, saying vaccines are the only way for the 4-state area to truly overcome the Pandemic. Joplin’s Mayor tells us that city government is listening to the local medical community, and is not currently discussing bringing back Covid-19 restrictions. He and other members of city leadership believe focusing on getting the community vaccinated is the best way to beat the virus.

Jefferson City, Mo- Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed bills that would increase police accountability, limit the use of officer chokeholds and, critics say, shield police while ramping up penalties for protesters. One measure puts limits on investigations of officers and provides protection against civil claims unless the officer is criminally convicted. The other bans police use of chokeholds.

Joplin, Mo- The City of Joplin is performing a structural analysis on a parking structure on East 6th Street, between Main and Virginia Avenue. The analysis comes after pieces of the structure’s ramp fell off when a forklift drove over it. That section of the street is closed off while the work is completed. Crews are currently using a non-destructive method of testing, x-raying the underlying structural steel. Renovations are expected to take place in the winter.

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Parson urges vaccinations amid spiking COVID-19 cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says the state wants to increase the vaccination rate for COVID-19.

The state’s rate that lags behind the rest of the nation and Missouri is in the midst of a big spike in cases and hospitalizations. Missouri reported 854 newly confirmed cases Wednesday, one of the largest one-day totals since February. The state reported nine new deaths. The increase is driven largely by a big jump in cases in southwestern and northern Missouri Those areas have been hit hard by the fast-spreading delta variant.

Hospitalizations have risen sharply over the past month, mostly in southwestern Missouri. State data shows 334 people are hospitalized in southwestern Missouri, compared with just 86 in mid-May.

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US officials extend expiration dates on J&J vaccine doses

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday that U.S. regulators extended the expiration date on millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by an extra six weeks.

The company said a Food and Drug Administration review concluded the shots remain safe and effective up to 4 1/2 months. The announcement comes after state officials warned that many unused doses in storage would expire before the end of the month.

Expiration dates for vaccines are determined based on data the manufacturer submits to regulators proving how long the shots stay at the right strength. FDA originally authorized J&J’s vaccine for use for up to 3 months after manufacture when stored at normal refrigeration levels. But J&J said the FDA extended the period to to 4 1/2 months, based on data from ongoing studies assessing the vaccine’s stability.

The FDA has been reviewing expiration dates on the three authorized vaccines as companies have continued to test samples of batches in the months since the shots first rolled out.

The extension will help maintain vaccine supplies even as the rate of new injections continues to slip. The country averaged about 800,000 new injections per day last week. That’s down from a high of nearly 2 million per day two months ago. Government officials have turned to a growing number of incentives to encourages shots — from paid time off to $1 million lottery prizes.

As vaccinations have slowed it’s become clear the U.S. is unlikely to meet President Joe Biden’s goal target to have 70% of American adults partially vaccinated by July 4. Roughly 64% of Americans older than 18 have had at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

J&J’s vaccine was highly anticipated because of its one-and-done formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration requirements. The shot was expected to play a key role in vaccination campaigns in rural areas and low-income countries with limited health care infrastructure.

But rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have already supplied more than enough doses to meet U.S. demand, with more than 129 million Americans fully vaccinated with the companies’ two-dose shots. By comparison just 11 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J shot.

The U.S. is set to announce plans to donate 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses for global use over the next year, on top of 80 million doses already pledged by the end of the month.

Uptake of J&J’s vaccine in the U.S. has also been hurt by contamination problems at a Baltimore factory that helps manufacture the shots. The facility was shuttered after an FDA inspection uncovered multiple problems in April and none of the vaccines made there have been distributed.

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AP Health Writer Linda A. Johnson contributed to this story

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Joplin opens COVID vaccine clinics in multiple loactions

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Health Department is setting up COVID-19 vaccine clinics at various locations across the community. The clinics will offer both first and second dose Moderna vaccines.

These clinics are open to all who are 18-years-old and over, regardless of city or state residency. No appointment is necessary. Citizens should bring a photo identification, and if they are seeking a second dose, they also need to bring their vaccination card. There is no cost associated with these vaccines.

 

Date                            Time                           Location                                 Type of Vaccine                     

Friday, June 4            9 AM – 1 PM            Senior Center                        Moderna vaccine   

                                                                        2616 S. Picher Avenue

         

Wed, June 9               9 – 11:30 AM             Joplin Health Dept.              Moderna vaccine             

                                    1:30 – 4 PM               321 East 4th Street

 

Sat, June 12               11 AM – 3 PM           Joplin Public Library           Moderna vaccine  

                                                                        1901 East 20th Street

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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.

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Ages 12 and up eligible for Mercy Hospital walk-in vaccine clinic

JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy Hospital Joplin will hold a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic available to all eligible people, including ages 12 and older. The hospital announced it has enough supply accommodate walk-in vaccinations.

It will be available from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19 and Friday, May 21. These are first-dose Pfizer vaccinations only.

The state of Missouri also recently lifted the residency requirement, meaning even those who live in neighboring states can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at mercy.net/vaccine, or get one by walk-in.