COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The number of coronavirus vaccine doses coming into Missouri is falling as demand for the shot tanks in the Show-Me State.
Missouri requested 21,290 vaccine doses last week and received 20,620. This is a 36,380 vaccine dose decrease from the week of April 26-May 2 when Missouri received 57,000 doses. The drop is even greater when looking back several weeks.
The state’s vaccine program was administering its highest number of shots in early April. At that time state officials planned for weekly deliveries of 80,000 Pfizer doses and 55,000 Moderna doses. Weekly deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were suspended soon after that while federal regulators investigated cases of rare blood clots.
Since that time demand for the shot has plummeted statewide. The vaccinated percentage of Missouri’s population is rising slowly while the average number of shots administered per day is less than half what it was a month ago.
The decreased demand can be seen locally, too.
Bill Morrissey the head pharmacist at Kilgore’s Pharmacy said they have not needed to order extra doses for weeks.
“We’ve kind of put a pause on ordering anymore because we have a stock pile right now,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey said Kilgore’s is ordering vaccine supply according to the demand of the appointments that are filling up.
Morrissey said there are so many institutions offering the vaccine across Missouri that the supply is outweighing the demand.
“About two months ago having an appointment to get a COVID shot was a super hot commodity right and everyone was competing for them, now is a different story. Now anyone who wants to get a vaccine can get one pretty quickly and pretty easily with all the institutions offering it,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey said they want to ordering accordingly so that they do not let doses go to waste.
Dr. Robin Blount the Chief Medical Officer at Boone Health said in early April they were ordering a thousand vaccine doses a week and now they are lucky if they can vaccinate 500 people a week.
“We’ve been ordering a thousand a week for quite a while, in April we got it pretty much every week but the vaccine demand has gone down so much we are only using about 250 to 500 doses a week,” Blount said.
Dr. Blount said Boone County was successful with getting 70% of the 65 and up population vaccinated, but there is still work to be done with the younger population.
“People over 65 we’re above 70% on that, for this area. We’ve really hit that population it’s the younger people that have not been taking advantage of the vaccine availability,” Blount said.
Dr. Blount said it is very important people continue to get vaccinated, she said that is how we will get back to normal.
“The way we get back to normal is to keep vaccinating, and not to just figure we’re better now, I don’t have a mask mandate, I can go to a restaurant now. People can do that because some people have been vaccinated, now we all need to get vaccinated,” Blount said. “We are encouraging people to get it, people need to get vaccinated that need has not gone away.”
MU Health has started to talk walk-ins to their clinics in the efforts to help more people get vaccinated.
Chezney Schulte with the Cole County Health Department says the department has not been ordering doses of the vaccines for weeks, instead of asking the State Health Department for its leftover doses.
“Kind of sharing and allocation process through DHSS has been helpful in that regard, so we can share doses that are leftover and make sure none are going to waste,” Schulte said.
Eleven Boone and Cole County medical providers requested doses from the state the week of April 5. Last week only four local providers ordered extra doses: Boone Hospital Center and Flow’s Pharmacy in Boone County and the Community Health Center of Central Missouri and Whaley Pharmacy Group in Cole County.
To date, Missouri has recorded 4,157,072 first and second vaccine doses administered. The share of the population that has initiated vaccination is 38.7% and 31.2% have completed vaccination.
In Boone County, 45.1% of the population has received at least one shot. In Cole County, 36.3% of the population has initiated the vaccine.