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Monday, January 25, 2021

Missouri Last In Nation for COVID Vaccine Rollout, Says CDC

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 11:02 AM

click to enlarge St. Louis distributed the first dose of vaccines to first responders last week. But Missouri is lagging. - MAYOR LYDA KREWSON/FACEBOOK
  • MAYOR LYDA KREWSON/FACEBOOK
  • St. Louis distributed the first dose of vaccines to first responders last week. But Missouri is lagging.

Vaccinations for COVID-19 are underway across the country — and nowhere is the job being done more slowly than in Missouri. Just 4% of the state's population has been given the first shot of the two-dose vaccinations, the lowest rate among all states.

The ranking is revealed in an analysis of data published Sunday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Missouri's bottom-rung placement echoes recent concerns from health professionals who warn that the state is simply not moving fast enough with its vaccination program to reach broad immunity by summer.



That could mean "herd immunity" could be a long way off. Over the weekend, BJC HealthCare Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Clay Dunagan estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 vaccinations per day would be needed to immunize 75% to 80% of the state, a point at which the virus would be unlikely to be able to spread on its own.

However, in the last week the state managed to vaccinate around 11,000 people per day, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

That rate puts Missouri all the way at the bottom of vaccination rollouts, though its major border states aren't faring much better: According to a list compiled by the Washington Post, Illinois' first doses of vaccinations have reached 5.1% of its population. Kansas is at 4.4%. Iowa has reached 5%.

Only Arkansas, which delivered first-doses of its vaccines to 5.9% of its residents, exceeded the national average of 5.6%.

But when you're at the bottom, the only way forward is, well, up. The first location of a mass vaccination site in St. Louis County is expected to be announced this week. On Sunday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said that more than 318,000 people — about one-third of the county's population — have registered to receive the vaccine.

A similar online registration system is available to St. Louis City residents. In a Facebook post on Friday, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced that the city has begun mass vaccinations for police and fire officials.

"We have a long way to go with vaccinations," Krewson wrote, "but this is a start."

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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