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Our Opinion: Progress made, but we're not there yet

October 29, 2021 at 4:05 a.m. | Updated October 31, 2021 at 1:15 p.m.

Missouri officials have announced our state has hit the 3-million mark for full COVID-19 vaccinations.

On the flip side, there are 6 million people in our state.

Some of them have received one of two doses and some aren't eligible to receive the vaccine. Overall, 66 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So is the glass half full or half empty?

Our view is that, while 3 million full vaccinations is a notable mark, we could and should be doing better.

Missouri still lags behind most other states. While about 50 percent of our population is fully vaccinated, Vermont is leading the way with a 71 percent rate.

Gov. Mike Parson and the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are crediting the increase in vaccinations to MO VIP, the incentive program that rewarded people who received vaccinations through a lottery process.

The lottery-type program gave $10,000 each to 800 adults and $10,000 education savings accounts to 100 children ages 12-17.

The state doesn't have plans for another such giveaway, which is probably a good thing.

At this point, it doesn't make sense to spend millions of dollars for a program that will have diminishing returns. Most of the people who want a vaccine have got it.

Convincing the remainder of people will be difficult.

All we can say is what we've said before: We believe the vaccine is safe and effective. But don't trust us - or any of the politicians or talking heads on TV. Trust the person you always trust for your health: your doctor.

News Tribune

Print Headline: Progress made, but we’re not there yet

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