Cox gets 5,700 vaccine doses
State plan distributes vaccine based on district population
Cox Monett received the latest round of COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines this week and kicked off a vaccination clinic for at-risk residents Tuesday.
CoxHealth received a total of 5,700 doses this week and 1,000 doses last week. These are the first doses the hospital system has received since it got its initial release of 6,700 doses in December.
“We are encouraged by that number, and we are confident that we can administer that number,” CoxHealth President Steve Edwards said. “I hope that number will only grow.”
The state vaccination plan indicates that Cox and Mercy will continue to receive 5,700 doses every other week at least through February.
Under the new state plan that was announced Monday, the healthcare system is receiving 55 percent of the state’s allocation of vaccines. Locally, CoxHealth and Mercy will be receiving doses on alternate weeks.
“We have a cadence, we know when we are getting vaccines, so we can plan and roll out better,” Edwards said.
He also said he is enthusiastic about the state’s plan to rely heavily on the healthcare system to get vaccines out to the public.
“We have the staff, we have the facilities and we have the medical records,” Edwards said. “We are grateful that the Governor’s Office trusts us.”
“At Cox Monett, we expect to receive between 150-200 doses of vaccine every two weeks,” said Janell Patton, Cox community relations manager. “We are contacting patients who are eligible to register. Even though we are getting more vaccine, supplies are still limited, and we are vaccinating patients according to a phased structure based on risk and age. With more vaccine doses, we will be able to move faster.”
Patton also said Monett is planning to host vaccination clinics every two weeks as new doses are made available locally.
In anticipation of the new doses, Cox began notifying patients who qualify for vaccines because they are in the high-risk categories that they can sign-up for an appointment to receive the vaccine. Those notifications are being issued via automated phone calls, text messages and emails.
Those who are interested in receiving the vaccine are encouraged to sign up at coxhealth.com.
Currently, Cox is serving its stage 1 and stage 2 patients. Residents qualify for stage one if they are 80 years-old or older, with a BMI greater than 40. Stage 2 patients are 80 years-old and older who have diabetes or chronic lung disease.
Patients in the next stage will be residents who are 85-years-old and who have heart disease.
Edwards said the state priority is residents who are age 65 or older, but, due to the limited number of vaccines available, Cox is narrowing its target group down to residents who are most at risk.
“One can kind of anticipate where they may be in line if they are on that list,” Edwards said.
Cox is also analyzing medical records to identify current patients who meet the qualifications for the active phase of vaccinations. In addition to those who have signed up for the vaccine, Cox will be calling, texting and emailing residents who are in the hospital’s computer system who qualify for the vaccine to inform them that they can sign up.
Edwards also encourages anyone who is not currently eligible, but who does want the vaccine, to sign up to receive it when it becomes available to them.
“Sign up, it’s helpful to us in the planning process,” he said.
Edwards also encouraged community members to sign up at multiple distributors if possible
“We just want you to get vaccinated, it doesn’t have to be at Cox,” he said. “My own mother — my sister and I signed her up at three locations.”
While the state plan currently shows Cox receiving the 5,700 doses every other week, Edwards said he is expecting those numbers to increase as more vaccines become available.
“It’s a long journey, but this plan offers us a light, “Edwards said. “As production ramps up, this provides us a rhythm. It’s a good plan.
It’s going to take a while, but that’s not the state’s fault. Production is ramping up.”