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Requests for COVID-19 vaccine declined more than 80 percent from February

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - COVID-19 vaccinators in Missouri requested almost 190,000 fewer doses of vaccine this week compared to the middle of February.

Almost five months ago, nurses administered the first COVID-19 vaccines in southeast Missouri.

“When the vaccine first came out it was really, really hard to get ahold of,” said Derek Palish, John’s Pharmacy’s Director of Operations.

Palish said there has been a drastic change recently.

“There’s just an overwhelming amount of vaccine that is available. We’ve actually gotten to the point to where we’ve had to contact the state and say hey please don’t send us anymore, because the supply is actually outweighing the demand,” he said.

Data from Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services confirms a similar trend across the state. For the week of February 15th, 405 vaccinators in the state wanted vaccine. The week of May 3rd, 67 providers asked for vaccine.

According to DHSS, the amount of vaccine requested also decreased. For the week of February 15th, 209,520 total doses were requested. 21,290 vaccine doses were requested for the week of May 3rd.

“At first the phones were ringing all day long about people wanting vaccine. We very rarely have those phone calls anymore. So, and even now, it’s hard if we have extra doses at the end of the day. It’s really hard to find those people, even if it’s one or two shots,” said Palish.

Palish encourages people who are not vaccinated, especially those who are high risk to get the shot.

“We’ve seen very, very little side effects or reactions to it, and overall its been generally well tolerated,” he said. “Right now it looks like demand is far out weighing the supply, we just don’t want it to flip back. So if you’re at all thinking about the vaccine, now is the time to get it.”

Out of every county health department in southeast Missouri, only Ste. Genevieve requested vaccine this week.

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