As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Churches Step Up To Host Vaccine Clinics
Update: City of Springfield spokesperson, Cora Scott, said 156 people got vaccinated against COVID-19 at the clinic Monday at James River West.
Original Story: More than 60 percent of Greene County residents 12 and older still aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Clinics being held this week at James River Assembly of God campuses in the Springfield area and in Joplin are aimed at lowering that number.
The clinics are being held as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise, largely due to the Delta variant. As of Monday morning, there were 226 people in Springfield hospitals with COVID-19, and 98 of them were in critical care, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department dashboard.
Public health officials have said, while masks and social distancing are important, the vaccine is the best defense against the illness.
Speaking during a vaccine clinic Monday at James River West, acting Springfield-Greene County Health Department director, Katie Towns, said churches can play an important role in the fight against COVID-19.
"They have...congregations full of people who they have influence and can encourage the use of this solution that will be our path to protecting not only the individuals but our community, the congregation," she said.
Central Assembly of God in Springfield already hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Its pastor, David Jane, said they have another one planned for July 22 that will be open to anyone. According to Jane, they want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
"We know that as groups get together and want to share fellowship, we also know that they can be sharing the virus, but we also know that if you're vaccinated that's not happening near as much as if you aren't," said Jane.
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said Monday there are no plans to implement another mask mandate. He said the mandate approved last summer by Springfield City Council that was in effect until the end of May ensured there was enough time to develop a vaccine and make it widely accessible. He said we’re at the point now where the vaccine is available to anyone who is eligible to receive it.
To find out about vaccine opportunities or to host a clinic, visit vaccine417.com or call (417) 874-1211.