Metro residents hunt for doses as most Missouri mass vaccination sites held in rural areas

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In Missouri, mass vaccination sites are being scheduled, but critics argue, it’s coming at the expense of urban areas.

That’s a claim Gov. Mike Parson has outright denied.

But the frustration has been building for weeks. Many are angry that mass vaccination sites are going to rural towns rather than metropolitan areas struggling to meet the demand.

“I have been complaining about that since the very beginning when I noticed that the vaccination site was in Clinton,” substitute teacher Jackie said.

Thousands in Missouri’s metro counties are searching everywhere for an opportunity to get vaccinated.

“We have Kaufman and Arrowhead (stadiums). We have (T-Mobile) Center. We have Cerner parking lots. We have all these places,” Jackie said. “There is no excuse.”

Many of the state’s vaccination sites have been in rural areas like Mercer County, where the population is less than 4,000.

Next week, there are 24 mass vaccination sites, but none are going on in Jackson County, the second-most populated county in the state.

Some Missourians say lack of communication and clarity has made it difficult to find out when and where to get vaccinated, leaving some Missourians to join Facebook groups to help aggregate the latest information.

Yet despite the frustration and confusion, on Thursday, the governor said Missouri has no intention of changing its plan.

“We have had a vaccine plan since October, and this plan has not changed,” Parson said. “We have been very disciplined in following our plan.”

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