Joplin Health Director cites improving COVID-19 case numbers, but vaccine is in short supply

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The Joplin Health Department is ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, that is, when the vaccine arrives. Earlier this week, at the Joplin City Council meeting Health Director Ryan Talken provided an update about the steps they are taking to make sure the department is ready when tens of 1,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine arrive in Southwest Missouri. He says that ordering the vaccine is not the job of city or county health departments, but of pharmacies and hospitals. Talken explains, “The actual vaccinator has to order the vaccine themselves. The Joplin health department, we as a vaccinator, we cannot handle the 10,000 doses and administer that in the time frame that is required.” Talken says that once the vaccinator takes control of the vaccines, that they be used within 10 days. Currently, Missouri residents in phase 1A, phase 1B Tier 1, or Phase 1B Tier 2 are eligible to receive the vaccine. To find vaccinators and to see if you’re eligible, visit COVID Vaccine dot MO dot GOV or call 1-877-435-8411

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