The Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) says at least 145 veterans living at Missouri veterans homes have died from the coronavirus, since September. 39 of those deaths happened at the state veterans home in northwest Missouri’s Cameron, while 29 have occurred at the home in southeast Missouri’s Cape Girardeau.
During a press conference at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City this week, Governor Mike Parson told Missourinet that changes must be made involving the operations of state veterans homes. He says his office will see that it’s done.
“Most of you have seen the report that’s come out, you know things have to be done differently,” Parson says. “And we’re going to ensure that those changes are made as soon as we possibly can make those changes. The state has stepped in, once we seen that we felt like there was a problem there and have been on the ground ever since.”
An independent investigation conducted by St. Louis-based Armstrong Teasdale found that the MVC headquarters failed to recognize the COVID outbreak. The report found that some veterans have roommates and share toilet and shower facilities. Armstrong Teasdale recommends that veterans reside in private rooms with private bathrooms.
Armstrong Teasdale makes dozens of other recommendations, including calling on MVC headquarters and veterans homes to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 outbreak plan.
Meantime, the governor and State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) director also focused their attention on the COVID vaccine, during the press conference.
DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams hopes every Missourian considers getting the COVID vaccine. He says the FDA has been examining drug and vaccine safety for more than 100 years.
“We very much think this is safe and, as the governor said, effective for people with COVID,” says Dr. Williams.
Dr. Williams says 90 percent of people who get the COVID vaccine will have no side effects. He says less than ten percent will have mild side effects, more likely to occur after the second vaccine.
Dr. Williams says those side effects usually go away in a day.
“And they consist of, primarily, fatigue, in about four percent. You’ll feel a little bit tired that day. Headaches, about two percent. And about one percent will have some muscle pain right here in what we call myalgia, muscle aches all over,” Dr. Williams says.
Dr. Williams says one percent “will have a little bit of a chill.”
More than 1,000 Missouri frontline health care workers have already received the vaccine.
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