There is good news and bad news to share in the area’s pandemic battle. The good news first: Hannibal Regional Hospital is offering two more COVID vaccine opportunities for those 65 and older and people with certain medical conditions. The bad news: Missouri has been stuck in this rollout phase which is hampering the distribution to other segments of society that need this vaccine to get the state back to normal.

To compare, look at Illinois. The people eligible to get the vaccine has recently expanded to teachers, manufacturers, grocery store workers, postal carriers and more. Click here to see the full list. Meanwhile, Missouri is still trying to get the vaccine to the most vulnerable, without expanding to the more general population that can help restore the economy and normalcy.

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Before Missouri can forge ahead, it still needs to serve the elderly and immuno-compromised. Hannibal Regional Hospital will host clinics on March 2 and March 5 to vaccinate those eligible. Appointments can be made now by calling the vaccine line at (573) 629-3570 weekdays during the hours of 8:00am - 4:00pm, or by scheduling online at hannibalregional.org/COVIDVaccine. When all appointments for both dates have been filled the phone number and link will close. Appointments are made on a first come, first serve basis and there is no waiting list. Both of these clinics will take place on our campus in the medical office building.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.