To say there was an overwhelming response to the opening of COVID-19 vaccinations would be a tremendous understatement. When the phone lines opened on Monday, Jan. 18, some people reported spending hours trying to schedule an appointment, in some cases literally dialing the number more than a thousand times.

Now that Missouri has moved in to the next phase of the vaccination plan, eligible residents will be able to get their first COVID shot starting Wednesday, Jan. 20 at Hannibal Regional Hospital. An appointment is required and the phone lines were overwhelmed when they opened. The crush of calls will ease as these initial days go by, so don’t let that discourage you. Call 573-629-3570 to schedule your vaccination time.

You need to meet eligibility requirements to be inoculated. This tier of vaccinations focuses on protecting those who are at increased risk for severe illness, including those aged 65 and older; any adult with cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD; intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome; heart conditions; a weakened immune system due to organ transplant; severe obesity; pregnancy; sickle cell disease; or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.