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NEWS | Jan. 27, 2021

Missouri Guard assists Department of Health and Senior Services with ShowMeVax

By Capt. Jeremy Idleman Missouri National Guard

The Missouri National Guard continues to assist the state’s COVID-19 efforts by helping with Missouri’s ShowMeVax program.

As details for a Coronavirus vaccine became available, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) decided to use an existing system to help with data entry and tracking, ShowMeVax. Already in use by the state, and the only database for children under 19 getting immunizations, it was the obvious choice.

According to Michelle Trussell, the immunization operations manager for DHSS, ShowMeVax is the state’s immunization information system. Trussell explained the need for support by saying, “Because we’d be adding a whole new vaccine to the database, it created a workload greater than my staff of five could handle. With children data entry alone, we have over 650 providers. With the COVID vaccine coming we were looking at doubling or tripling that number.” The Missouri Guard, which was already collaborating with DHSS for COVID relief, stepped in to help.

Trussell said participating partners, corporations, businesses or pharmacies are required to have an individual location created, which can cause some problems. “The Missouri Guard is helping us by sorting conflicting accounts or users, among other things,” she said.

Staff Sgt. Jesse Mullen, 935th Aviation Support Battalion, explains the Missouri Guard’s role, “We’re here in a support role. We review applications and user registrations, staff enrollment, staff change requests, password resets, adding accounts for vendors, merge accounts, new location adds, inventory listing and customer support to name a few. It’s a big job.”

Mullen continued by saying, “We’re the second step in the process. Providers administering vaccines have to have a location with an estimate of how many people they’re going to see. We also verify inventory, assets and number of support staff and vaccinators at each location. Once the enrollments are approved, the individuals must then register themselves. There are different rolls for different jobs: data entry, those giving vaccinations, managers, CEOs, etc. Enrollment of user and business are two separate things.”

“The Guard has been phenomenal,” said Trussell. “We truly appreciate them coming in and tackling it. They came and took a huge weight off our shoulders and we definitely felt it in the first few days.”

Some of the soldiers on this mission, which started on December 23, 2020, were part of the Community-Based Testing mission, which ended on December 15, 2020.