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Canceled clinics and long drives in the snow | St. Louisans search for COVID vaccines during storm

“Yes it was scary, yes it was inconvenient, but I’m vaccinated,” Mary Krueger said of her two-hour drive in Monday’s snowstorm for a coronavirus vaccine

ST. LOUIS — Mary Krueger and her partner drove two hours in Monday’s snowstorm for a coronavirus vaccine, figuring after two months of registering everywhere, this was her only shot to get a shot.

“We just kept plowing through, literally plowing through,” she said.

Krueger drove to the Fredericktown, Missouri, Walmart, a journey that usually takes about 90 minutes, though required an extra half-hour Monday.

“Nothing was opening up. Absolutely nothing,” she said of previous attempts to get a vaccine closer to home. “I thought this is the chance to get it and who knows. And now I’m glad I did because nobody got shots yesterday. So yes it was scary, yes it was inconvenient, but I’m vaccinated.”

Krueger’s journey came at the same time that the state of Missouri announced they would close mass vaccination clinics through Friday, Feb. 19.

That includes the Lincoln County vaccination site that previously provided patients with a first dose on Jan. 28.

In a press release, the governor’s office wrote the mass vaccination program was “scheduled to administer second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. These events are being postponed, but doses will be retained in the region. Plans are being made to administer these doses as promptly as possible.”

For any patients concerned about pushing their booster shot past the recommended 21-day timeframe, reassurance from Parson’s office: “The slight delay will not affect the efficacy of the booster dose.”

Last month, the CDC quietly updated guidance allowing Pfizer and Moderna shots to be mixed and matched between doses in some certain circumstances, plus that second dose can be administered as late as six weeks after the first.

Krueger said she’s grateful for her own success, especially as she watched other vaccine clinics around St. Louis close early or cancel.

“I mean when we saw the news last night that SSM closed and didn’t give shots, I’m like ‘oh my gosh,’ they should’ve gotten in the car with us to Fredericktown,'” she said.

And she said she is willing to brave the elements again when it’s time for her own booster, currently scheduled for March 14.

“If the weather is bad, we know how to get there,” she said. “We’ll just do it!”

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