As Callaway County records its 40th COVID-19 death, progress on vaccination continues.
The Callaway County Health Department reported its 40th COVID-19 on Thursday, more than a week since its last reported death Feb. 8. As with previous deaths, no additional information about the deceased was given, including the date of death.
Missouri is currently vaccinating people who fall under Phase 1B tiers 1 and 2.
Missouri's Phase 1B, Tier 2 includes anyone 65 or older and any adults with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI greater than 40), sickle cell disease and Type 2 diabetes. It also includes pregnant women and people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome.
So far, an estimated 11.1 percent of Callaway County's residents — or 4,985 have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data provided by the state.
Active cases of COVID-19 in Callaway County have fallen dramatically during January and February. In mid-January, the CCHD's active case count dropped below 400 for the first time since October. Active cases stood at 120 as of Thursday.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, at least 4,448 Callaway County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
There are several different websites where Callaway County residents may register to receive notifications about vaccine availability.
Callaway County residents interested in receiving the vaccine through the county health department can fill out a survey at surveymonkey.com/r/2DKZBC2. People who lack internet access may get on the list by calling the Callaway County Health Department at 573-642-6881 or by visiting in person at 4950 County Road 304 in Fulton to fill out a form.
MU Health Care has launched a survey at muhealth.org/form/covid-vaccine-survey, where people can sign up to be notified when COVID-19 vaccine will be available to them. The survey is open to anyone in the MU Health Care service area, which includes Callaway County.
However, because of weather-related vaccine shipping delays, MU Health Care is now postponing vaccinations for those scheduled to receive their initial dose of the Moderna vaccine today and Sunday at the Faurot Field vaccination site.
MU Health Care has not yet received the allocation of 4,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that was expected this week.
"We are still awaiting confirmation on when the Moderna shipment will arrive, so we will wait to reschedule those signed up for Friday (today) and Sunday until we know for sure when to expect those doses," said Brad Myers, MU Health Care Director of Pharmacy and Laboratory Services. "Those with appointments this week should know we will reach out to reschedule their appointment to ensure they receive the vaccine."
Lastly, the Missouri Vaccine Navigator allows individuals to register for a vaccine, indicating their desire to be vaccinated. They will then complete a questionnaire to determine their eligibility based on Missouri's priority phases.
Registrants will be notified upon activation of each phase and alerted when they become eligible. Individuals will then be able to seek vaccination from their health care provider if they have vaccines available or view mass vaccination events and other providers in their area. In addition to helping individuals register for a vaccine, the Missouri Vaccine Navigator will remind registrants when it is time to schedule their second dose.
For those who are partially vaccinated or still waiting their turn for a vaccine, the quest to stay healthy continues.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has partnered with the Missouri Community Health Centers and MAKO Medical Laboratories to offer a number of free testing events. There are no eligibility requirements other than Fulton address.
The test is a PCR test done by an anterior nares or midnasal swab to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This is not an antigen or antibody test.
The next testing event in Callaway County will be noon-3 p.m. next Tuesday in the C&R Market parking lot (640 Commons Dr., Fulton). Register at mako.exchange/scheduler/registration/?location=4097. Another testing event is planned for noon-3 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Columbia Moser's (705 Business Loop 70 West).
Registration is strongly recommended.