This fall, St. Louis County experienced a meteoric rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases. The average number of new cases per day went about 140 at the beginning of October to 804 on Nov. 17, when DPH instituted its Safer at Home order. That order includes a ban on indoor dining in restaurants, bars and other public establishments.
Today, thanks to compliance with that order and other public health guidance, the average number of daily new cases is down to 534. While that number is still too high and our hospital system remains dangerously stressed, DPH has begun working with an informal group of restaurant owners to come up with a way to restore some form of indoor dining. County Executive Dr. Sam Page has asked DPH and the restaurant group to recommend such a plan, which will include new safety measures. Dr. Page said this morning that if the case numbers continue to hold steady, he would announce the plan next week and that it would take effect in January.
It’s important to note that any form of indoor dining carries risk. For now, the Safer at Home order – including the ban on indoor dining – remains in effect. COVID-19 is spread through air droplets and aerosols, and it spreads more easily indoors than outdoors. DPH advises all members of our community to continue to avoid crowds, wear masks, maintain social distancing and wash their hands frequently.
Moderna Vaccine FAQ
As stated by the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 18, is a series of two doses administered four weeks apart. It is now advised that each person should be monitored by their provider for 15 minutes following vaccination for both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Below are common questions that are answered by the latest guidance issued for use of the Moderna vaccine.
- What do I do if I miss the second dose of the Moderna vaccine 28 days after the first dose?
- Patients who do not receive the second vaccination dose at 28 days should still receive that second dose as soon as possible thereafter.
- Should you get the vaccine if you have already contracted COVID-19?
- Yes, but for both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, you should defer vaccination until you have met criteria to discontinue isolation.
- Can you receive the vaccine if you are pregnant?
- Yes, pregnant females are recommended for the vaccine depending on the individual’s risk of acquisition due to the level of community transmission, personal risk of contracting COVID-19 due to occupation or other activities, risks of COVID-19 to the mother and potential risks to the fetus, efficacy of the vaccine, known side effects of the vaccine and the lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy. Special counseling and a 15-minute observation period after vaccination, if chosen, is recommended.
- Should you have a pregnancy test or antibody test prior to receiving the vaccine?
- Routine testing for pregnancy or antibody tests is not recommended in relation to vaccine use.
- Can you get this vaccine if you are in quarantine due to an exposure with a positive COVID-19 case?
- You should delay your vaccination if you have had a known SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) exposure until your quarantine period has ended, unless residing in a congregate setting (health care/long-term care facility, correctional facility, homeless shelter, etc.).
- Can you get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
- There is no information on co-administration of this COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines. The Moderna vaccine should be spaced at least 14 days from any other vaccine.
- Who is not recommended for the Moderna vaccine?
- Those under age 18.
- An individual who has experienced a serious reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to a prior dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components. For more information on vaccine components, refer to the manufacturer’s package insert.
- If you have been vaccinated, can you stop from using other precautions?
- No. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. Of note, more people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose. No specific safety concerns were identified in subgroup analyses by age, race, ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Residents and providers are encouraged to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri at covidvaccine.mo.gov.