If you call the CoxHealth clinic in Springfield to ask for one of the latest COVID-19 booster shots, you will be directed to a pharmacy. As with pediatric doses of the vaccine, storage issues are part of the decision-making process.
“With the recent approval of the COVID-19 bivalent boosters, storage and logistics issues make the retail pharmacy model the best approach,” CoxHealth spokeswoman Cary Nabors said in a statement to the Daily Citizen. “Retail pharmacies have capacity to manage the complex storage requirements — including multiple vaccines with different refrigeration standards — whereas individual clinics do not. In addition, vaccines cannot be stored overnight in a clinic, according to state regulations.”
Nabors said CoxHealth clinics could change course depending on both demand from patients and the availability of the vaccines.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults who haven’t had COVID-19 or their initial booster shot in the past two months are ready for a bivalent booster designed to target the most recent Omicron subvariants of the virus. Young adults (12 to 17) can get one too if their vaccine doses have been of the Pfizer-BioNTech variety.
In the Springfield area, some of the most immediate opportunities to get one are at retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS, which offer scheduled and walk-in appointments, or at pop-up clinics hosted by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Mercy Springfield’s COVID vaccine clinic at its family medicine center, 3231 S. National Ave., is scheduling appointments every 21 days, with the next opportunity round of doses being administered on Oct. 18. The county health department’s clinic at 660 S. Scenic typically schedules appointments on all weekdays but Wednesday, although the center will be closed on Oct. 6 as well next week. The phone number is 417-874-1211.
For more information about when to get a booster dose, visit the Springfield-Greene County Health Department website.