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Springfield lawmakers to host vaccination clinic

A bipartisan group of Springfield legislators is hosting a vaccination clinic next week in an effort to combat rising COVID-19 cases in their area and across the state. 

Republican Sen. Lincoln Hough is joining House Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade and Reps. John Black, Craig Fishel, Betsy Fogle, and Alex Riley to host the clinic at Missouri State University (MSU) on July 31. The group released a unified message encouraging Missourians to remove politics from the coronavirus conversation.

“Together we recognize that the pandemic has taken a turn for the worse this summer as hospitals in our area have reached a tipping point. As concerned representatives of our community, we want to provide our constituents with an additional opportunity to receive the vaccine,” the group said. “We all love Springfield and feel honored to represent our resilient community. This is our way to provide a resource to help keep our neighbors healthy and safe.”

“We decided this would be a great opportunity for us to come together and have a unified message and do something to increase vaccination rates and relieve some of the stress we’re seeing in our hospital systems,” Fogle told The Missouri Times. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to put our community first and lead by example.”

The clinic will be held from 1-4 p.m at MSU Parking Lot 39 and will feature an information session.

More than 35 percent of Greene County residents are fully inoculated as of Friday, with 41 percent receiving at least an initial dose. 

The group has been encouraging Missourians to get vaccinated over the past few weeks: Quade has advocated for the vaccine on social media several times, and Hough appeared on national news this week urging viewers to discuss their concerns with trusted medical experts rather than relying on social media for information. 

Missouri health officials unveiled two vaccine incentive programs this week, including one giving 900 people the chance to win cash or prizes amounting to $10,000 over the next three months. More than 100,000 people registered for the program within 24 hours. 

St. Louis city and county are reinstating mask mandates next week for indoor public places amid rising case rates.

More than 10,600 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Missouri within the last week, with 32 deaths. More than 1,600 people are hospitalized, including 492 in the ICU and 218 on ventilators. Around 50 percent of adults in Missouri have completed vaccination.