MODHSS: Missouri announces first case of COVID-19 caused by Omicron variant

For Immediate Release:

December 3, 2021

 

Media Contact:

Lisa Cox, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

 

Missouri announces first case of COVID-19 caused by Omicron variant

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) announced the state’s first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant named Omicron. One week ago, the World Health Organization classified this variant, B.1.1.529, now known as Omicron, as a Variant of Concern due to identified concerning types of mutations.

“Although there is much we still need to learn about this new variant, we do know the best tool currently available to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is personal prevention. I urge Missourians to seek information on the Omicron variant from DHSS and trusted medical sources opposed to social media,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director. “We also encourage Missourians to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and staying informed this holiday season as this new variant is investigated further.”

Public health experts worldwide are working quickly to learn more about the Omicron variant and how it may impact the health and safety of citizens. The transmissibility and disease severity caused by Omicron are still unknown. Scientists are also studying the degree to which existing vaccines and therapies protect against Omicron.

 

DHSS was notified by public health partners of a sample presumed positive for the Omicron variant originating from a St. Louis City resident who had recent domestic travel history. The sample was originally sequenced as part of commercial laboratory surveillance and results are currently awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

“The Delta variant is still the predominant variant present in Missouri, currently representing well over 99 percent of the cases. Citizens are urged to complete their vaccination series for COVID-19 and get their booster,” said Kauerauf.

DHSS will continue to work with public health partners to monitor for an increase in the Omicron variant, as well as trends in other variants. To learn more about Missouri’s variant monitoring efforts, visit Health.Mo.Gov.

DHSS has been regularly providing the public with actionable information to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The agency continues to recommend that residents follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance from others.

 

Everyone 5 years and older is highly encouraged to protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated (and boosted if age 18 and older). Missourians should also take the opportunity to get their annual influenza vaccination as part of their risk reduction activities to protect themselves and others from seasonal respiratory illness.

 

Travelers to the U.S. should continue to follow CDC recommendations for safe traveling. Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri at MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “covidvaccine.mo.gov” claiming to be MOStopsCovid.com.

 

How Missourians can get a free COVID-19 vaccine:

How Missourians can get a free COVID-19 test:

 

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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

 

 

Pfizer Approved for ages 5-11

Children age 5-11 are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Missouri. Our agency is planning to host two clinics during the week of November 15th to offer additional times for those seeking to schedule an appointment for thier minor children.

These pediatric clinics will be as follows:

  • Tuesday, November 16th from 1:15pm-4:30pm
  • Thursday, November 18th from 3:00pm – 5:45pm

Please visit our website here to schedule an appointment or call our office at 573-324-2111.

See the full press release regarding this new eligibility here:

 

For Immediate Release:

November 3, 2021

Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

 

Children age 5-11 now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Missouri

More than 533,000 of Missouri’s population includes children age 5-11 who will now be eligible for vaccination

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for children ages 5-11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC’s recommendation, announced yesterday, was made based on an in-depth review of available safety, immunogenicity and efficacy data. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children on October 29.

Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for use in individuals age 12 and older. The vaccine for children age 5-11 is a smaller dose (10 µg), which is a third of the dosage for individuals 12 years and older (30 µg). The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, 3 weeks apart, for all eligible individuals.

“As a parent myself, I understand the concerns about vaccinating their young children,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director. “It is important to make an informed decision based on factual, scientific information, not what is available in a social media feed. I highly encourage parents to discuss their child’s vaccination with their pediatrician or trusted medical professional.”

In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children age 5-11. Vaccine side effects were mild and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. These are normal signs that their body is building protection, but they should go away in a few days. The most common side effect was a sore arm.

“While it is less common for a child to become severely ill or need hospitalization due to COVID-19, that risk certainly does exist, which became more evident during the recent Delta variant surge,” said Kauerauf. “The Delta variant is still prevalent among COVID-19 cases, and it is impacting people differently than what we witnessed a year ago. Also, we know kids can and do spread the virus and can unknowingly cause severe illness in others including senior citizens and at risk populations.”

According to census data, more than 533,000 of Missouri’s population includes children age 5-11 who will now be eligible for vaccination.

Missourians over the age of 12 are still encouraged to get vaccinated if they have not done so to date. Sufficient supplies of vaccines are available throughout the state.

Distribution of just over 116,000 pediatric doses across the state began earlier this week, with federal plans to scale up to full capacity over the next two weeks. Providers operating under the state’s standing orders should follow the guidance as written for COVID-19 vaccine administration for children age 5-11. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is given to adults and adolescents cannot be used for children age 5-11.

Providers who pre-ordered pediatric vaccines are listed at MOStopsCovid.com, and later this week Vaccines.gov will list locations on an interactive map where vaccine is available. You can also text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use in individuals 18 years and older and will continue to be available to adults. Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines and find a vaccine near you at MOStopsCovid.com.

 

Parents + Kids COVID-19 FAQs

 

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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

All Booster Shots to be available at PCHD next week

All COVID-19 Booster doses will be available at the Pike County Health Department beginning on Wednesday, October 27th  and will be offering a mass clinic style MODERNA COVID-19 Booster clinic on Tuesday, November 2nd. The CDC recently released a statement recommending COVID-19 booster shots for certain populations. There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Booster Basics:

  • Must qualify under at least one of the following conditions:
    • 65 years of age and older and/or residents in long-term care settings
    • 18–64 years of age with underlying medical conditions
    • 18-64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting (e.g. frontline medical workers, teachers, and first responders) 
    • Previously received a 1 dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
  • For previous Pfizer OR Moderna recipients, you must wait 6 months since your 2nd dose before receiving the booster.
  • For previous Johnson & Johnson recipients, you must wait 2 months since your 1st dose before receiving the booster.
  • Please bring your COVID-19 Vaccine Card.

 

Getting your COVID-19 Vaccines:

  • Pfizer: Mondays by appointment
  • Moderna: Wednesdays by appointment & Special Booster Clinic held on Tuesday, Nov. 2nd.
  • Johnson & Johnson: Monday – Friday, no appointment necessary

 

Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

 

We encourage the public to decide which vaccine is right for them and contact us with any questions. Visit our website at www.pikecountyhealth.org  to schedule an appointment, read the CDC’s full press release, and find more resources on the COVID-19 vaccines.

 

READ THE CDC MEDIA RELEASE HERE:

CDC Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Today, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorizationexternal icon and CDC’s recommendation for use are important steps forward as we work to stay ahead of the virus and keep Americans safe.

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Millions of people are newly eligible to receive a booster shot and will benefit from additional protection. However, today’s action should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine. More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves – and their children, families, loved ones, and communities– vulnerable.

Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

The following is attributable to Dr. Walensky:

“These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19. The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe – as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

3rd Dose & Booster COVID-19 vaccines offered at PCHD

Our agency is now offering the 3rd Dose & Booster Dose COVID-19 vaccines. Please read the following information carefully. Recently the Moderna & Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for 3rd doses for the moderately to severely immunocompromised. At this time only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for Booster doses that are available to those who fit the criteria listed below. The CDC has released guidance as to what individuals are able to receive the 3rd & Booster dose and they are specific to who and when they can be received. Please see below the information to understand if you are eligible to receive a 3rd Dose or Booster dose.

Who can receive the MODERNA or PFIZER 3rd dose? You must have ALL of the below scenarios:

  • If you have previously received your 1st & 2nd dose of Moderna OR Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine. Vaccine brands are interchangeable. 
  • If it has been at least 28 days since your 2nd dose was administered.
  • If you fall into one of the following categories as being moderately to severely immunocompromised:
    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Read more on 3rd Dose COVID-19 vaccines from CDC >>>

 

Who can receive the PFIZER Booster Dose? You must have ALL of the below scenarios:

  • If you have previously received your 1st & 2nd dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • If it has been at least 6 months since your 2nd dose was administered.
  • If you fall into at least one of the following categories:
    • 65 years of age and older and residents in long-term care settings
    • 50–64 years of age with underlying medical conditions
    • 18–49 years of age with underlying medical conditions
    • 18-64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting (e.g. frontline medical workers, teachers, and first responders) 

Read more on the Pfizer Booster from CDC >>>

 

If you qualify under any of these circumstances, you can easily schedule your 3rd Dose or Booster dose with our agency. We offer Pfizer on Mondays & Moderna on Wednesdays, both by appointment. Call our office for this appointment or go online to book yourself at pikecountyhealth.org.

Pfizer Now Offered Weekly on Mondays

Our agency will now be offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by appointment only on Mondays each week. Pfizer is available to anyone age 12 and over. Parents/Legal Guardians must accompany minor children to their appointment, if unable please call our office about the required paperwork. You can learn more about the Pfizer, other COVID-19 vaccines, and book appointments by visiting our website at www.pikecountyhealth.org/covid-19. We continue to offer MODERNA by appointment on Wednesdays, and J&J Monday-Friday with no appointment necessary.

HEALTH ADVISORY: Pike County Health Department urges community to consider vaccination as COVID-19 cases climb.

COVID-19 cases in Pike County have doubled in one week. On Thursday, July 15th we reported 25 active cases, and as of today, July 21st, we have reached an alarming jump up to 50 active cases. Only 27.4% of Pike County’s population is currently fully vaccinated and only 46.8% for the state of Missouri. Population immunity makes it hard for disease to spread from person to person which is why we urge the community to please consider getting vaccinated. For those getting vaccinated will help protect those who cannot be vaccinated, such as newborns and other high risk individuals and the spread of this disease will decline as our vaccination rates increase.

COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC has announced that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death. They can reduce the risk of people spreading COVID-19 and are effective against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, currently circulating in the United States including the Delta variant. People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.

Some people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may still get sick because no vaccine is 100% effective. Experts continue to monitor and evaluate how often this occurs, how severe their illness is, and how likely a vaccinated person is to spread COVID-19 to others. It is unsure at this time how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people and it is currently recommended that everyone 12 years of age and older should get their COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is available to those 12 and older, while Moderna & the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are for those 18 and older.

We have COVID-19 vaccines available daily at our office. If you are not vaccinated, please be safe and use caution when planning activities. Improve ventilation indoors, wear a mask in public, social distance and stay home and get tested if you are having symptoms. We offer Moderna on Wednesdays by appointment and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is walk-in welcome Monday – Friday 8:30-11am & from 1-4pm. Call our office at 573-324-2111 or visit our COVID-19 page for more information or to schedule your appointment today.

Keep safety in mind when enjoying summer activities

For Immediate Release:

May 28, 2021

 

Media Contact:

Lisa Cox

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

Keep safety in mind when enjoying summer activities

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – This Memorial Day, it is important for individuals to remember summer safety while making plans and enjoying everything outdoors that Missouri has to offer. Taking basic safety precautions can prevent a variety of injuries and illnesses, and could even save lives.

Tick and Mosquito Bite Prevention. Ticks and mosquitoes may be small pests, but their bite can have big consequences. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) remains concerned about the prevalence of ticks and mosquitoes throughout Missouri. The following safety precautions will help prevent both established and emerging diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes.

  • Use insect repellent with a minimum 20% DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
  • When possible wear light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Always check yourself, family and friends for ticks after spending time outdoors.
  • Remove ticks promptly.

 

Take two minutes to protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes.

 

Food Safety. Whether you are having a picnic, barbecue or fish fry, some simple food safety steps can prevent foodborne illness from crashing your celebration. The following safety guidelines should be followed:

  • Always wash your hands before preparing foods and after handling raw meats, as well as before and after eating.
  • Keep hot food hot (135°F or above) and cold food cold (41°F or below). Leftovers not kept under temperature control should be discarded if left out over two hours.
  • Cook foods completely. Hamburgers should reach 155°F, fish and pork 145°F and chicken or other poultry 165°F.
  • Avoid cross contamination of foods by keeping them separate and well wrapped.

 

Find more food safety tips here.

 

Hot Weather Safety. Every year, Missourians suffer from heat-related illness due to Missouri’s hot and humid summer weather. To avoid potentially deadly heat illness, using air conditioning, at home or in a local cooling center, is the best preventive measure. It is also important to become familiar with the following terms used to identify heat hazards:

  • Heat wave: a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
  • Heat index: a number of degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
  • Heat cramps: muscle pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion: typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
  • Heat stroke: a life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may results if the body is not cooled quickly.
  • Sun stroke: another term for heat stroke.

 

Find more information about heat hazards and prevention methods here.

 

Water Safety. Missouri has a wealth of recreational water areas from backyard ponds, lakes and streams to multi-million gallon water parks with wave pools and slides. All these recreational water options provide hours of fun, but dangers can lurk in the water. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury worldwide and among Missouri’s children. The majority child drowning fatalities in Missouri occurred in unsupervised children under the age of five.

 

A drowning can occur quickly and silently in a matter of seconds and young children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Children under the age of one are most likely to drown at home in a bathtub or bucket. Children aged one through five are most likely to drown in a pool. Children aged five and older are most likely to drown in open water such a lake, pond, stream or river. By following the safety tips below you can reduce the risk of drowning this holiday:

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
  • Actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children. Avoid distractions.
  • Teach children water safety skills and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Only swim in designated areas, preferably with a lifeguard. Remember lifeguards provide assistance in emergencies and should not be relied on for supervision.
  • Warn children to stay away from drains in pools.
  • Install proper barriers and covers around your pool and spa.
  • Wear life jackets as appropriate. Life jackets should be US Coast Guard certified, the proper size for the individual, and in good condition. Floatation devices are not a substitution for adult supervision.
  • Know CPR and if a child is missing, check the water first.

 

 

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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:
 
▶️ Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
▶️ Get sick from COVID-19
▶️ Spread COVID-19 to others.
 
CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
 
Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss. Children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
 
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