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LIVE: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to unveil vaccine incentives

Mike Parson
Posted at 10:19 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 16:03:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As his state continues to battle COVID-19 hotspots, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will announce a new set of incentives Wednesday to convince Missourians to get the vaccine.

According to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, 57% of the state’s population that’s at least 18 years old has started the vaccination process, with nearly 2.5 million Missourians completing the vaccination process.

But the vaccination figures vary widely by location, with rural counties in the state generally reporting far fewer residents having received the vaccine.

Pulaski County in south-central Missouri reports that only 12.3% of its population has completed the vaccination process. Boone County, just an hour north of Pulaski County and home to the University of Missouri - Columbia, reports 46% of the population has completed the vaccination process.

The urban vs. rural disparity is one reason Parson plans to announce a series of incentives during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. The governor is also expected to announce the new head of the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services.

The existing director, Dr. Randall Williams, resigned from his position in April. Robert Knodell, who was Parson’s deputy chief of staff, has been serving as interim director.

You can watch the governor’s news conference at 3 p.m. on kshb.com.

Earlier this month, a KSHB 41 I-Team report indicated that while some vaccine incentives have proved effective elsewhere, their ability to drive vaccination rates isn't always clear cut.