Covid Vaccine Drive 4/21

A group of nurses prepare to give a COVID-19 vaccine during one of the counties last mass vaccination clinics of the spring semester April 21. 

A Nodaway County resident died from COVID-19 Sept. 28 — the 34th death the county has seen from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The individual who died was in the 80-89 age bracket. Their vaccination status was unknown. 

The death was the third in the month of September. The county also had three deaths in July and August, respectively. The U.S. crossed 700,00 deaths from COVID-19 Oct. 1. 

Nodaway County hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks. As of Oct. 4, there were six hospitalizations in Nodaway County, and the seven-day rolling average for hospitalizations was nearly six per day. The seven-day rolling average Sept. 26 was slightly over three per day.

“They’re kind of a lagging indicator,” Administrator of the Nodaway County Health Department Tom Patterson said of hospitalizations.

Despite a rise in cases among children in the past few weeks, none of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are children. Cases in older age groups have gone down, while cases among children continue to rise.

Patterson said the hospitalizations don’t correlate with a rise in recent cases; instead, they correlate with higher case levels in the past, like the beginning of September. Local cases have declined in recent weeks. There were 31 active cases Oct. 4, while the beginning of September saw a peak of 73 active cases on a single day.

At Northwest, cases have mirrored Nodaway County’s trends. There were seven active cases on campus, according to the most available data at the time of publication. 

“The data looks good. And, you know, we are going to trust in that and move forward,” said Crisis Response Team 2 member Lt. Amanda Cullin.

One of the promising statistics the team continues to look at is campus vaccination rates. At the time of publication, 57% of students and 67% of staff reports being fully vaccinated to Northwest Wellness.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released a new standing order Sept. 27. The order outlined new guidelines for booster dose eligibility in the state. Those eligible include: individuals 65 years or older, people 18 years or older who are at high risk for transmission because of work and/or have underlying conditions, and those aged 50-64 with underlying conditions.

In response to an increased local demand for booster shots, NCHD, Mosaic - Maryville and Northwest will be partnering to host another mass vaccination clinic in the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse Nov. 9. The event will be the first mass vaccination clinic held in the county since May. As of Oct. 6, officials say the vaccination clinic is only for booster shots.

Mosaic - Maryville had been receiving regular calls from individuals inquiring about the vaccine. The hospital sent  an email survey to those who attended previous vaccination events to gauge interest in the booster shots. It received around 360 responses to the survey saying they would be interested in a booster clinic, but Bridget Kenny, community health nurse at Mosaic - Maryville, said they anticipate a larger number are actually interested.

“You know, many people don’t respond to surveys,” Kenny said.

NCHD received the same phone calls inquiring about the vaccine, and Patterson said he expects many of those who got vaccinated early in the process will want to get the booster as soon as they are eligible. 

“It gives another layer of immunity. It’s gonna give you that extra boost,” Patterson said of the booster.

At the time of publication, only the Pfizer booster has been approved, and only individuals who were vaccinated with Pfizer the first time around will be eligible for a booster shot at the clinic. The booster dose should be taken at least six months after the completion of the primary vaccine series, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those wishing to sign up for the clinic Nov. 9 should visit mymlc.com/vaccine or call 660-562-2755 to schedule an appointment. Health and University officials will continue to reevaluate whether more booster clinics of this nature are needed.

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