Gov. Mike Parson says federal COVID-19 vaccination effort unwelcome in Missouri

Gov Mike Parson press conference.jpg
Posted at 9:18 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 08:47:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Joe Biden’s plan to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations with a grassroots, community-based campaign is not welcome in Missouri, according to Gov. Mike Parson.

“I have directed our health department to let the federal government know that sending government employees or agents door-to-door to compel vaccination would not be an effective or a welcome strategy in Missouri,” Parson said in a tweet Wednesday night.

Biden announced on Tuesday that as mass vaccination sites wrap up, he plans to shift focus on vaccination efforts.

“Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus,” Biden said. “Look, equity, equality — it remains at the heart of our responsibility of ensuring that communities that are the hardest hit by the virus have the information and the access to get vaccinated.”

However, Parson said the state will “continue to offer convenient vaccination options” to Missourians who want to be vaccinated.

“Teresa and I both have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and we encourage anyone age 12 and up to get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them,” Parson said.

Biden’s initiative loops in 42,000 local pharmacies, puts a “renewed emphasis” on providing vaccines to family doctors and health care providers” and increases the availability of mobile vaccine clinics.

“We’re also intensifying our efforts to meet people where they are, outside of their neighborhoods — pharmacies and doctor’s offices,” Biden said. “This includes continuing to work with employers to make vaccination shots available at work — on the work site, if possible — or — and/or give their employees paid time off to get vaccinated at a nearby facility.”

Parson’s remarks come as the first member of a COVID-19 surge response team arrived in Springfield, where the state has seen an influx of cases due to the delta variant.

Shortly after Parson issued his stance on Biden's plan, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a tweet, "Let's fight COVID, not the federal government."

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and local health department data show a 56% increase in COVID-19 cases in June.