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PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. — With the Food and Drug Administration’s amended emergency use authorization, allowing for newer vaccine formulations that address recent COVID variants, Platte County Health officials are planning to ask residents if, how, and when they’d want those shots.

“We want to know how to best serve the community,” said Platte County Health Department Spokesperson Aaron Smullin.

The county will be asking residents if they want the vaccine, how they would like to get it, and which brand they’d prefer.

“Would it be a drive-through type clinic, a large-scale operation, or perhaps folding it into our regular operations,” Smullin said.

The FDA approved the tweaked shots today, but Smullin says it could still be a few days before the shots can be ordered and a few more days before shots go into arms.

Smullin says the counties get shots from the state, and no one wants to have shots they can’t use or residents they can’t vaccinate.

“That’s where the survey will come into place, saying, ‘Oh, demand is not so great, so we don’t want to order too much because we don’t want to waste it,’ or ‘Demand is through the roof and we want to make sure we order enough to meet that demand,” Smullin said.

The tweaked vaccine formula is meant to target new COVID variants that could hit the U.S. population as the weather cools down and we spend more time inside.

Last winter, data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows the state topped out at about 4,000 COVID patients in hospitals a day in January. August 2022 data is less than a quarter of that, but Smullin doesn’t want to go back.

“We remember how bad COVID really was,” said Smullin. “It was everywhere in the community and the hospitals were so full, bursting at the seams, we don’t want a repeat of what we saw last winter.”

Platte County residents can take the survey here.