KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri hospitals and public health agencies are working hard to get the COVID-19 vaccine administered in all parts of the state.
Hospital leaders say locations of clinics are crucial to get access to those who might not have it otherwise.
About 200 eligible Missourians received their first dose of the vaccine Wednesday at the Linwood YMCA though partnership with the YMCA and Truman Medical Centers-University Health.
CEO and President of Truman Medical Centers-University Health Charlie Shields, said the location of the YMCA worked out well so the hospital could get vaccines to people who might not have the capability.
"We realize people have some transportation issues, sometimes it's hard to get down to one of our two hospitals so that's why we continue to go out into the community," Shields said.
Wednesday's clinic was only for TMC/UH patients and YMCA members who are in Missouri's current tier.
In rural parts of the state, health leaders are working hard to get the vaccine out to as many people as possible.
Planning is underway for the third week of mass vaccine clinics put on by the Missouri National Guard and regional health leaders.
The weekly clinics will be in each of the state's nine highway patrol regions.
Two clinics will take place in Region H, which includes fifteen counties in the northwest part of the state. One clinic will be Thursday Feb. 4 in Chilicothe. The other will be Saturday, Feb. 6 in Bethany.
The region will divide approximately 1,950 Pfizer doses between the two clinics.
Registration is currently full for both clinics.
Jayne White, public health nurse manager for the Andrew County Health Department and team lead for the Region H regional implementation team, said health leaders in the region chose the locations based on greatest need.
"We really tried to look at where vaccine shortfalls were and where people needed to have access to vaccine," White said.
White said the region's first vaccine clinic was in Savannah, Missouri. The region is currently on week two. After week three clinics are complete, they will repeat the same locations to give out second doses.
White said the regional implementation team has been working with local health departments to get waitlists already created.
While the clinics are intended to be region by region, they are open to anyone in the state. She wants to encourage community members to keep an eye on their local county health department's website for additional sign-ups.
"These events are huge, it's a lot of traffic, it takes a lot of volunteers so if you're not registered for these events be patient, there's going to be one in every region every week," White said.