KENNETT, Mo. (KAIT) - As COVID-19 vaccinations increase across the country, more and more vaccination sites are beginning to put shots in arms.
SEMO Drug Pharmacy in Kennett began administering vaccines on Jan. 28.
Under Missouri’s vaccination plan, the state is in Phase 1B tier 2, which allows for the vaccination of people in high-risk individuals.
That includes people 65 and older, those who have cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, heart conditions, severely obese, pregnant women, immunocompromised people due to organ transplants, people with type 2 diabetes, and those with sickle cell disease.
That is on top of people in Phase 1B tier 1, which includes first responders, EMS workers, and public health workers, and people in Phase 1A which includes patient-facing health care workers and long-term facility residents and staff.
So far, Pharmacist Dr. Jenna Hawkins said they have vaccinated well over 200 people at SEMO Drug Pharmacy, and there are still people on their waiting list.
Hawkins said they applied to get the vaccine back in November.
“You have to do a long application process through the state of Missouri,” Hawkins said.
They also had to get a freezer to keep the vaccines at a specific temperature.
On Thursday, people were waiting in the pharmacy to get their first shot, many eager to get it, including Verlon Phelps who was getting his first dose.
“Seeing the excitement of people’s face, to know they’re eligible to get the vaccine, or we’ve gotten them on our list, that’s been rewarding as a whole,” Hawkins said.
When it comes to the waiting list, Hawkins said there are about 100 people on it right now waiting to get the vaccine, but there are people on the list who are not eligible to get it just yet.
Hawkins and pharmacy manager Holli Carr said that is okay. Anyone who wants to put their names on the list can do so.
When it is their turn, the pharmacy will get in touch with them when Missouri opens up the phase they are in.
While many people have been eager to get the vaccine in Kennett, there have been some reservations from some in the community.
“I would ask what their concerns are. We would address those things, as well as just try to help them feel at ease with their certain concerns. We would talk about potential side effects,” Hawkins said.
But at the end of the day, both Hawkins and Carr said the whole process of getting people vaccinated has been rewarding.
“It’s exciting for us to be able to play our part, even though it is a small part in the pandemic, but we are proud to do it,” Carr said.
If you want to put your name on the waiting list at SEMO Drug Pharmacy, click here.