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Missouri reaches vaccination milestone

The state health department reports a third of all Missourians have started the vaccination process

ST. LOUIS — The state of Missouri reached a milestone Friday in the fight against COVID-19: one-third of residents have received at least one vaccination shot.

“Today, Missouri's COVID-19 vaccine dashboard reports that exactly one-third (33.3%) of all Missourians have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shared on Facebook Friday.

That 33.3% comes out to 2,046,730 Missourians who have initiated the vaccination process. The state reports 1,373,435 residents – or 22.4% – are fully vaccinated.

As of Friday, an average of 49,215 COVID-19 vaccine doses are being administered every day in Missouri.

The state expanded vaccine eligibility a week ago to include everyone 16 and older. There are age restrictions for each vaccine. You must be 16 and older for the Pfizer vaccine. For the Moderna vaccine or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines, you must be 18 years old, according to the CDC. As of now, the state has put a pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while researchers investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

For months, demand for the vaccine far outweighed the supply, but the St. Louis area seems to have turned a corner in the last couple of weeks. Supply is now outpacing demand, with suppliers now allowing walk-ins at major events and some facilities opening scheduling to anyone who’s eligible and interested – no email invitation needed.

Another turning point in the pandemic for the St. Louis area would be reaching herd immunity.

Defined by the CDC as “when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness), making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely,” it's essentially when enough people have protection against a virus or disease that it no longer wreaks havoc on the population.

For the St. Louis region to achieve herd immunity, the Pandemic Task Force has targeted getting 75% of the population vaccinated. Dr. Alex Garza estimated we can achieve that, at our current vaccination rate, by the end of June.

5 On Your Side checked the percent of the population vaccinated in each county in our viewing area. Below is the latest data as of Friday from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Percent of population initiating vaccination, by county:

  • St. Charles: 34.3%
  • Gasconade: 33.6%
  • Franklin: 33.2%
  • St. Louis County: 33%
  • Ste. Genevieve: 28.1%
  • Phelps 26.6%
  • St. Francois: 24.7%
  • St. Louis: 24.5%
  • Jefferson: 23.9%
  • Warren: 23.7%
  • Iron: 22%
  • Pike: 21.5%
  • Lincoln: 19.1%
  • Crawford: 18.4%
  • Washington: 16.1%

For more information on how to get vaccinated in your county, read 5 On Your Side's full list of vaccine clinics across the St. Louis area.