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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

As COVID Cases Rise, Some Missouri Counties Struggle To Raise Their Vaccination Rates

A needle on a table
Mirko Sajkov
A needle on a table

Local health departments in southwest Missouri, where COVID-19 vaccination rates are low, continue working to encourage people to get the shot.  That’s as cases of the illness continue to increase. 

Nearly half of all Americans--48.1 percent—have been vaccinated against COVID-19.  But some counties in southwest Missouri have yet to hit the 20% mark.  

McDonald, Douglas, Ozark, Howell, Ripley, and Oregon counties all have vaccination rates lower than 20%. While their numbers have increased since mid-June, they are still struggling to raise the vaccination rate.

Valerie Reese, Administrator at the Douglas County Health Department, told KSMU that some people are nervous to get the vaccine because of concerns about long-term negative impacts and adverse reactions.

To encourage people to get vaccinated, Reese says the Health Department will be putting out a weekly series in August to address some myths about the vaccine.

Many county health departments are posting vaccine opportunities on their Facebook pages.  

To find out where COVID vaccines are available, visit  

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