BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) – Citizens Memorial Hospital held one of the first COVID-19 vaccination clinics in southwest Missouri involving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday.
The hospital received 1,000 doses of the vaccine and distributed them to five locations: Bolivar (400 doses), Ash Grove (150 doses), Buffalo (150 doses), El Dorado Springs (150 doses), and Stockton (150 doses).
People at Saturday’s vaccine clinic in Bolivar, like Larry Doke, say they were excited to get the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“I wanted to wait until the Johnson & Johnson shot,” Doke says. “I didn’t want to go through the two shot thing. I’ve been kind of thinking about it and researching and listening. Some people are kind of skeptical of some of the things that are in the shot.”
CMH’s System Pharmacy Director, Mariah Hollabaugh, says although some people may be doubting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they should get whatever vaccine is available to them first.
“The Johnson & Johnson may not have as high of efficacy for preventing severe or moderate illness, but it does have a little more study behind it with the variants that are now in circulation so you have to kind of weigh the pros and cons with that,” Hollabaugh says.
Eddie Volkmar agrees. That’s why he was relieved the hospital was offering Saturday’s clinic.
“I’m putting my trust in the makers of these vaccines,” Volkmar says. “It doesn’t really matter who it is.”
Hollabaugh says this single dose vaccine is helpful for people who don’t like shots or may have trouble with scheduling two appointments.
Doses were given out on a first-come, first-serve basis with no pre-registration required. The line formed more than an hour before the doors opened.
Joyce and James Nehl came a half an hour early to make sure they could get the vaccine. The Nehl’s say they feel more comfortable seeing their family now that they’ve been vaccinated.
“With our grandchildren and great grandchildren, we want to make sure that we’re safe when we go to visit them,” James Nehl says.
Doke traveled from Springfield to get the vaccine because he wants things to finally go back to normal.
“They’re not gonna let us free until we get the shot, so I got the shot,” Doke says.
Hollabaugh says the state will not be allocating any more Johnson & Johnson vaccines for the hospital for the rest of the month. The hospital has been administering the Moderna vaccine and as of Wednesday had given 8,040 doses.
CMH patients can sign-up to be notified when the vaccine is available through their patient portal online. More information can be found here or by calling CMH’s COVID-19 hotline at 417-328-4300.
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