Joplin officials expect vaccine to come “very soon”

Coronavirus numbers trend downward.

JOPLIN, Mo. – “I think things are looking up, that we’re gonna get some vaccines,” says Joplin Assistant City Manager Dan Pekarek.

A full week after Governor Mike Parson activated phase 1B tier two of vaccine distribution, officials in Joplin are showing some cautious optimism.

“The conversations we’ve been having over the last couple of days, I think that it’s likely that we’ll be able to get some vaccine in our hands for public clinics in the very near future,” says Pekarek.

Pekarek says they still aren’t exactly sure when those vaccines will come, or exactly how many doses will come in the first shipment.

But, once they do come, they will be used for public vaccine clinics. Pekarek says those clinics could be done in a large facility like a gymnasium, or drive thru style. Either way, they will be utilizing appointments.

“The primary way that we’re gonna be trying to schedule is through public news releases about clinics on a certain day and asking people to enroll in those,” says Pekarek. “But there may be an opportunity for us to enroll some of those individuals who have already been on lists as well.”

Pekarek also explains that there are around 35 entities that are enrolled as vaccine providers in the Joplin area — which includes Webb City, Carl Junction and other surrounding cities. Pekarek says those providers are ready to get started once they have vaccine, and that the health department will continue to do public vaccine clinics to help fill in the gaps.

“I think there will be a blend of those 35 plus a public clinic every so often. You know, kind of built into that equation.”

The city hopes to be able to release more information about vaccine clinics later this week. Right now, they are waiting for some final information from the state.

Pekarek also gave an update on current case trends in Joplin, which show a downward trend.

    • Current active cases: 136.
    • 112 total deaths related to COVID-19.
    • 21 Joplin residents are hospitalized. There are 49 total hospitalizations in the city.
    • 7 day rolling average is at 21 cases a day.
    • The 14 day cases per 100 thousand is also down from well over a thousand to around 600.
    • The 7 day positivity rate is down to 9.2 percent.

With numbers trending downward and vaccines impending, Mayor Ryan Stanley thinks things are looking up.

“It’s very clear to me and I hope it’s clear to the community that we are certainly playing a winning hand when it comes to COVID,” says Stanley. “We are absolutely in the process of winning this and defeating this virus.”

You can watch the full 30 minute media briefing below:

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