More than half of Greene County residents ages 12 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department calls it an exciting moment for the community as case counts and hospitalizations continue to decrease.
Health Director Katie Towns says she’s grateful to the more than 126,000 people who are doing their part to help put an end to the pandemic. “We need to keep the momentum going to prevent another deadly surge like what we experienced this summer with the Delta variant,” Towns said.
The health department provided more details on the county’s vaccination rate in the following edited news release:
While reaching 50% is a huge milestone, Greene County still lags the rest of the state and nation in vaccinations. In Missouri, 56% of those 12 and over are fully vaccinated and roughly 64% are fully vaccinated in the United States.
Continuing to increase vaccination rates is particularly important for children under 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccine. More than 86,000 children in Missouri younger than 18 have contracted COVID-19 and tragically, 10 have died. So far in September, children ages 0 to 11 account for nearly 13.4% of all cases in Greene County, which is the highest we’ve seen in that age group to date.
“Reaching 50% will help make vaccine the expectation instead of the exception which will help drive rates even higher,” said Towns. “It’s vitally important that vaccinated individuals talk about their experiences with those who are still hesitant to normalize the process and help people feel confident in their decision.”
Updated Citizen Strong signs will soon be available throughout the community to help celebrate this milestone and encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to join the majority of individuals who have rolled up their sleeves. Signs for businesses and organizations interested in promoting their individual vaccination rates are also available by filling out a request.
Free vaccines are offered throughout the community daily. Both walk-ins and appointments are available. Visit vaccine417.com for an opportunity near you or call 417-874-1211. Private appointments are also available by calling this number.
The Health Department will hold a media availability at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 29, in the Public Safety Center media briefing room located at 330 W. Scott.
Leaders from the Health Department, health care partners and local businesses will provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccination effort in Greene County. The public is invited to watch the media availability on the City’s and Health Department’s Facebook pages or at https://cityview.springfieldmo.gov/livestream/