Call 417.347.6444 for the Freeman COVID Test Center. Call the COVID vaccine information line - 417.50COVID (each state has varying vaccination plans). For information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Information about COVID-19 in Joplin can be found here.
State Vaccination Plans
freeman frontliners receive the covid vaccine
Freeman COVID-19 updates in the new year
A new year brings us more COVID-19 vaccine updates that will help with our “new normal” situation. Freeman is dedicated to keeping our community healthy by providing more information about the vaccines, and how to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Here’s what to know about the new vaccines
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two vaccines because no current alternatives are available. They are committed time and time again to base their decision on data and science. The FDA strongly recommends healthcare providers follow FDA-authorized dosing schedule for each COVID-19 vaccine available. EUA vaccines currently are manufactured by Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.
While there is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine for COVID-19, the FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two vaccines – Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines:
Efficacy: Both Moderna's and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have shown similar efficacy levels of near 95%.
Structure: Both vaccines rely on mRNA, or messenger RNA, to work, although with slightly different structures and makeup.
Even though they're both mRNA vaccines, they're very different mRNA molecules because they have different “so-called lipid delivery systems”, meaning the sort of fatty droplet where the mRNA is located. That's why they have different storage and handling characteristics.
Cold storage: Moderna's vaccine does not need to be kept at super-cold temperatures like Pfizer's. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at about minus-75 degrees Celsius, about 50 degrees colder than any vaccine currently used in the nation. The vaccine can be put in the refrigerator for only up to 5 days before it expires.
In contrast, Moderna's vaccine can be kept at about minus-20 degrees Celsius. The Moderna vaccine can be kept in a refrigerator for 30 days before it expires.
For more vaccine details visit cdc.gov.
Avoid being a superspreader
The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet or 2 arm lengths). It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols or are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes. Protecting yourself includes:
- Getting vaccinated, which prepares your body to fight the virus if you are exposed.
- Social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently – and properly.
- Getting an annual flu shot is advised by the cdc.gov.
- Stay at home if you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- The CDC recommends cleaning surfaces by using soap and water, then use a disinfectant.
- Freeman follows CDC recommendations for vaccination and best protection from COVID-19.
- For more information about vaccine FAQs, visit cdc.gov.
Freeman will continue to update everyone about vaccine information on our website. Facebook page, social media and other media (such as TV, newspaper and radio) with information about signing up for vaccines with locations, times and guideline.
Other local testing information, as well as COVID-19 related local announcements can be found at joplinmo.org/coronavirus.
Missouri COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Current Missouri COVID-19 vaccine availability schedule:
Phase 1A Target
- Healthcare Workers
- Long-term Care Facility Residents and Staff
Phase 1B Target
- High Risk Populations
- First Responders
- Essential Workers
Phase 2 Target
- Populations at Increased Risk (Prisoners, Homeless, etc.)
Phase 3 Target
- All Missouri Residents
Please visit https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/ for more information regarding Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine plan and availability.
We’ll keep you informed about vaccine availability
Freeman will keep you updated as information becomes available. Here's what we know today:
We know you have many questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. We’re working hard to deliver answers. The information on this page will evolve as we get more insight into vaccine data and distribution plans.
What we know as of February 16, 2021
We received our first shipment of vaccines Dec. 20. To date we have given over 9000 vaccines to our employees and residents in our community. Missouri is currently vaccinating Phase 1A, Phase 1B Tiers 1 and 2. That includes individuals age 65 and older or with certain health conditions. For more specific information about eligibility visit mostopscovid.com.
We are committed to distributing COVID-19 vaccines in a fair, ethical and transparent way. We will provide detailed information when it becomes available.
Due to a recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the community, visitor guidelines will also be adjusted. Each patient will be allowed one visitor from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm with a few exceptions:
- No children under the age of 18 will be allowed unless seeking medical treatment.
- No visitors for pending/positive COVID patients.
- Pediatrics: One visitors per hospitalization. Visitors may come and go each day and visiting hours do not apply. Speak to your provider about possible exemptions.
- Maternal child: one visitor per hospitalization, visiting hours do not apply
- NICU: Two banded visitors at the same time, only the mother can come and go. The other banded visitor may visit once per day.
- End of Life: Only immediate family members (spouse, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild) can visit. Two visitors allowed in patient room at a time.
Visitors are asked to stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Visitors can visit Freeman’s retail service locations (cafeteria, coffee shop, gift shop) but will be required to wear a mask while in these locations.
What To Do If You Think You Have COVID-19
A drive-thru testing site is available in Joplin for COVID-19. Those who have symptoms of the illness may call the test center at 417.347.6444.
Test center screenings will determine if callers meet the criteria for testing. If the caller meets criteria, test center staff will make an appointment for the caller at the test site. Symptoms include a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, a dry cough or shortness of breath. Tests will be provided to only those who are referred by the test center; a physician at the site will provide the test.
The COVID-19 Test Center opened to the public Monday for area residents to call and see if their symptoms meet criteria for testing. Our hours are Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Friday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm.The demand for screening prompted the addition of two more phone lines just for screening questions for a total of five. Each call averages 10 to 15 minutes. Freeman Health System is working to get individuals definitive answers to their concerns about their symptoms. The majority of those who have novel coronavirus will recover at home treating symptoms with over the counter medications. You can contact the test center at 417.347.6444.
We are testing Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, and Fridays 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.
COVID-19 Symptom Assessment
Freeman offers a FREE online COVID-19 health risk assessment. You can also contact our test center at 417.347.6444 for further screening.
COVID Antibody Treatments
Freeman administers COVID antibody treatments to patients at high risk for severe COVID symptoms to help reduce their risk. We offer both Bamlanivimab and Casirivimab + Imdevimab under the Emergency User Authorization issued by the FDA.
High risk is defined as meeting at least one of the following criteria:
- A body mass index (BMI) ≥35
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive disease
- Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
- ≥65 years of age
- ≥55 years of age AND have cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other chronic respiratory disease.
These therapies require a physicians order. If you feel you may benefit from these medications, contact your primary healthcare provider for more information. If you do not have one and would like one of our physicians to review your case, contact Freeman Academic Internal Medicine at 417.347.1095. Physician’s offices may contact Freeman directly to order outpatient infusions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost.
Vaccine providers are allowed to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. We expect public and private insurance providers to cover this cost.
Can I make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We are accepting online registration for appointments. When we receive your information, we will contact you for scheduling. Please be patient. Our availability of vaccine is based on the amount of vaccine allocated to us. Distribution will be prioritized according to federal and state guidelines. As vaccine supplies increase and we are able to make more vaccine available to patients and the general public, we’ll do so.
Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine first?
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides guidance on prioritization of community groups. We are currently in Phase IB Tiers 1 and 2. For more guidance regarding phases of vaccination, please visit mostopscovid.com.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
While the first COVID-19 vaccines are new to people, they are based on science that is more than 30 years old. These vaccines provide our bodies with only part of the genetic code of COVID (not a full weakened or dead virus like some vaccines). From that code, our bodies produce proteins that are harmless on their own, but they allow our immune systems to produce antibodies in response. Those antibodies will then be able to recognize and attack COVID-19 if we're exposed and it’s introduced into our body.
Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Everyone should get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine will be a major factor in reducing the public health threat posed by the pandemic and will ultimately save lives and reduce hospitalizations. We will follow CDC guidelines to distribute the vaccine in a fair, ethical and transparent way.
Are there side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine?
Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects. You may experience common side effects such as swelling and sore arm where you got the shot along with an overall low-grade fever, chills, tiredness or headache that goes away within a few days. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people show they worked as intended with no serious side effects. Talk with your Freeman provider about any specific concerns you may have.
What are the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
We won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have more data on how well it works over a longer period of time. The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last.
Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant?
Pregnant women were not part of clinical trials, but experts cited real-world examples to explain their confidence in vaccine safety. In accordance with the FDA and CDC guidance, healthcare workers who are pregnant or breastfeeding may receive the vaccine at their own discretion. Talk with your Freeman provider about any specific concerns you may have.
How will the COVID-19 vaccine be given?
The COVID-19 vaccination is administered as a shot in the arm. Some types of the vaccine need two shots within a certain time period to be effective. Current guidance recommends 21-28 days between vaccinations.
What if you have another condition – can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Those with certain underlying medical conditions are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness and, regardless of age, are a high priority group for receiving the vaccine. Freeman providers will work to get you the best information so you can make an informed decision about the vaccine for yourself and your family.
Do I need the COVID-19 vaccine if I have the flu vaccine?
Yes, the seasonal flu vaccine is unable to provide immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
Should we wait to see if it’s effective before getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
These vaccines have been proven effective and are approved for use with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. When the FDA grants EUA, it’s in the absence of adequate, approved, or available alternatives to prevent serious or life-threatening diseases, including public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing after I've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
The CDC still recommends wearing a mask, proper handwashing and social distancing after vaccination. The annual flu vaccination is still recommended. This guidance may change with more data about how effective the vaccine is over the long-term.