Mass COVID-19 vaccination event held in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Mass COVID-19 vaccination event held in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
The Missouri National Guard gave the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event in Poplar Bluff, Mo. on Friday, Jan. 22. (Source: KFVS)

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - The Butler County Health Department announced more than 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered by the Missouri National Guard on Friday, January 22.

The mass drive-thru event will be held in Poplar Bluff at Hydro Adventures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

RAW VIDEO: Update on COVID-19 mass vaccination event in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Health care workers started vaccinating people at 9 a.m., and cars started lining up before 6 a.m.

Captain Jeremy Idleman with the Missouri National Guard said they cut off the line earlier on Friday and ended up having leftover doses, so they called people back to make sure they didn’t waste any doses. He said the goal was to use all 1,950 doses.

Those who got the shot had to qualify based on their job, age or health condition.

Eleven different agencies helped put on the event.

They’ll be back in Poplar Bluff in time for those who received their first dose of the Pfizer shot on Friday to get their second dose in about 21 days.

Butler County Health Department Administrator Emily Goodin said this was a great opportunity for the area.

“I got the call late last week asking if we’d be willing to take on this big event, and of course I said ‘yes,’ knowing that there would be many challenges,” said Goodin. “But this is a great opportunity to bring not only to the region, but to our county.”

This was the first mass vaccination site like this in Missouri.

Col. Russell Kohl with the Missouri National Guard said they fine tuned the process on Friday to get ready to roll out similar mass vaccination clinics across the state.

He said the long line of traffic caused the biggest issue, but they now know ways to manage it.

“It has actually been outstanding,” he said. “The support of the folks here, both the health care providers and the folks getting vaccinated, has been great. This is a project that the governor defined 10 days ago, and it’s a reality today thanks to the hard work of all these folks.”

Upcoming events and how to register

Registration for the Poplar Bluff event ended Thursday at 10 p.m., according to the Health Department.

According to Butler County EMA Director Robbie Myers, another mass vaccination clinic has been scheduled for Caruthersville on Saturday, February 6.

You can find the link to register on the health department’s Facebook page or website. You can also register here.

Agencies prepared for the event on Thursday

“I think Friday’s going to be great for this community, even surrounding ones,” Operations Director Amanda Fitzwater said on Thursday.

She said the free vaccination requires registration beforehand and is open to anybody who falls into Phase 1A, and phase 1B tiers 1 and 2.

“To have a mass vaccine like that brought by the National Guard, it just is an opportunity for all these people to be vaccinated who want to get vaccinated,” Fitzwater said.

Phase 1A includes long-term care facilities and healthcare workers.

Phase 1b tier 1 includes first responders and emergency services and phase 1b tier 2 includes high risk individuals.

National Guard members from Jefferson City brought the vaccine to Hydro Adventures where people received their dose from their car.

“Just drive through, get vaccinated and go,” she said.

Nurses from the health department and nursing students from Three Rivers College gave out the doses.

Allison Allen, a senior nursing student, said on Thursday she was excited to be a part of it.

“It’s a great learning experience and opportunity not only for us, but for our instructors and for the people of Poplar Bluff as well,” Allen said.

She also said she felt confident in giving out the vaccine because she was used to giving out similar ones.

“I feel very prepared, I’ve done them before. I’ve gotten the experience and capability to do it in clinicals before, so I feel very prepared,” she said.

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