JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday announced the activation of Phase 1B - Tier 1 of Missouri’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.
A press release issued by the governor’s office said that federal partners have informed the state they plan to significantly increase vaccine supply next week, and that individuals 65 and older and those with comorbidities should be prioritized.
Phase 1B - Tier 1 has been activated Thursday, Parson announced, and Phase 1B - Tier 2 will be activated on Monday. Those eligible for Phase 1A who have not yet received a vaccine will continue to be eligible to be vaccinated. More information on the tiered rollout plan is available at the state's vaccination information website.
Phase 1B - Tier 1 includes:
- Non-patient facing public health workers: Administrators and staff at federal, state or local public health agencies or other health care workers who carry out functions necessary to the operation of the state’s health care infrastructure that were not included in Phase 1A.
- First responders: All federal, state and local first responders other than those already included in Phase 1A, including law enforcement, fire services, corrections and certain social service agencies.
- Emergency management and public works: Federal, state or local government employees in emergency management and public works agencies, and identified nonprofit organizations designated as partner voluntary agencies.
- Emergency services: Employees defined in the emergency services sector not otherwise listed, including law enforcement, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, emergency management and public works.
Phase 1B - Tier 2 includes:
- Anyone age 65 or older
- Any adults with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI >40), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, or individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome.
“Beginning the activation of Phase 1B is all about saving lives and protecting those most vulnerable to exposure and illness from this virus,” Parson said in a statement. “We are looking forward to increased vaccine supply in the coming weeks as supply is the leading factor that dictates our movement through our plan. The more supply we receive, the quicker we can reach our goal of making vaccines available to every Missourian who wants one.”
The governor’s office advises individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B - Tier 1 to work through their employer or association to access the vaccine. Individuals in Phase 1B - Tier 2 should contact their local pharmacy or health care provider for more information on when vaccines may be available and how to receive them.
“People will need to be patient and monitor local news and information for vaccine availability,” said Tom Patterson, Nodaway County Health Department administrator, in an email to The Forum.
Patterson said he hopes to see the vaccine become available through “several providers” over the next weeks and months.
A list of vaccinators and regional vaccine implementation teams is set to be posted to MOStopsCovid.com on Friday, the release noted. The Department of Health and Senior Services encourages employers and associations representing individuals in activated phases to use the list to connect with a vaccinator or regional vaccine implementation team in their area and make a plan for vaccinating their teams.
Based on reporting from providers to the state, at least 27 percent of Phase 1A individuals have received the first dose of the vaccine in Missouri. More than 160,000 Missourians have received an initial dose, and more than 22,000 have been fully vaccinated with a two-dose series. State vaccine allocations are determined by the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed.