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Vulnerable, elderly Adair County residents encouraged to submit COVID vaccine requests

KTVO Kirksville/Ottumwa logo KTVO Kirksville/Ottumwa 1/22/2021 KTVO News Desk and Adair County Health Department
© Provided by KTVO Kirksville/Ottumwa

The Adair County Health Department has received hundreds of vaccine requests through its website and via telephone calls. Despite the demand for the vaccine far outweighing current doses, many people have also used the contact to thank the health department its work throughout the pandemic.

“The staff and the Board of Trustees continues to fight this pandemic with everything we have,” said Jim LeBaron, administrator. “We’ve heard a lot of complaints. It’s nice to hear a few words of thanks for our efforts. Every single one of us here has been working tirelessly since this all began and will continue to do so until the pandemic is under control in Adair County.”

Residents over the age of 65 and those age 18 and older who are at increased risk for severe illness, including those with cancer, kidney disease, COPD, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, heart conditions, immunocompromised conditions, severe obesity, sickle cell disease, diabetes, asthma and women who are pregnant should continue to use the health department website’s “Contact Us” feature to email vaccine requests for the Curbside Clinics which will be held at the health department.

The email should include the resident’s full name, mailing address, phone number, date of birth, employer/retired, occupation and pre-existing medical conditions. The health department is prioritizing the most vulnerable and will call residents to schedule appointments for the Curbside Clinics. 

Residents who do not have access to the internet to submit requests via email can call Jamie at 660-665-8491. The Health Department will also use these requests to contact residents every time there are doses available.

“People have heard stories about doses not being used and going to waste,” said LeBaron. “That’s not happening here in Adair County. We know we have far more demand for the vaccine than we have doses so if we have doses available, we’ll be on the phone calling our most vulnerable residents to have them come to get a vaccine.”

People who received or are receiving antibody infusion therapy for COVID-19 must wait 90 days from therapy completion before receiving a vaccine. Those who had COVID-19 without receiving therapy do not have to wait 90 days, unless they have another health condition that warrants the delay. You should check with your doctor before getting the vaccine.

Members of the target group who have registered for the January 27, 2021, drive-through are required to bring with them both their five-digit registration confirmation number and the completed COVID-19 Vaccination Form available on the health department website under the “Forms” link. If you are unable to print the form from the website, you can pick one up at the health department’s east entrance, up the ramp.

The health department has a freezer unit which keeps the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the required temperature of -80 degrees, so it can accept doses immediately as they become available.

“The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has advised us that the number of doses requested in the state far exceed the supply received from the federal government,” said LeBaron. “We anticipate that will be changing. Gov. Parson plans to being deploying the National Guard throughout the state to administer the vaccine in drive-throughs, and in February, we anticipate our local pharmacies may receive vaccine supplies. There will be more and more places receiving vaccine supplies. We encourage Adair County residents to take advantage of those opportunities as they arise.

“Our goal is to vaccinate every resident in Adair County who wants one, and perhaps convince some who are skeptical to get one,” LeBaron said. “We must begin with our most vulnerable populations to limit the severity of COVID-19 should they contract it. But we are hopeful that very soon, even our healthiest residents will be able to get the vaccine.”

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