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Next Missouri vaccination phase starts March 15

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An additional 550,000 Missourians will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 15, Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday.

The next level — Phase 1B, Tier 3 — vaccinates “critical infrastructure” sector workers, including teachers, child care specialists, government officials, food and agriculture employees and energy employees.

With the move to Tier 3, state officials estimate that, in total, over 3.5 million Missourians will be eligible for vaccination. As of Thursday afternoon, 756,334 people had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Missouri’s vaccination dashboard.

Parson said a recent study from the Missouri Hospital Association found that roughly 40% of Missourians are unlikely to seek out the vaccine.

“Part of why we are activating Tier 3 on March 15 is to make sure that there is a steady flow of people who are eligible and interested in getting vaccinated,” Parson said. “This allows the vaccinators across the state to continue vaccinating Missourians without having to wait on those who don’t want one.”

Parson said an estimated 800,000 Missourians currently are eligible for and interested in receiving the vaccine. He anticipates the state will vaccinate over 400,000 people by March 15.

Announcing the new tier early allows hospitals and other vaccinators to prepare for an influx of people who want to receive the vaccine.

“For now, we ask that vaccinators work in their communities to plan for March 15,” Parson said. “We want this to be a smooth process, and it will be up to vaccinators to start planning now so that Tier 3 populations are ready.”

Parson said he expects to activate Phase 2 within 45 days of March 15.

Meanwhile, Parson said Missouri was allotted over 120,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week, along with some 128,500 doses for next week.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be granted an emergency use authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration as early as today. Once approved by the state health department, Parson said he expects the state will be able to order the Johnson & Johnson vaccine early next week.

Parson said he expects to receive around 50,000 doses of the new vaccine.

Additionally, roughly 233,600 vaccine doses have been shipped to CVS and Walgreens locations across the state, as well as 38,990 doses for Walmart, Healthmart and Hy-Vee.

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Ken Hughes

How will we sign up for the March 15 and after vaccines?

Friday, February 26
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