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Missouri moves to new phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

vaccine
Posted at 1:14 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 14:22:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some first responders and older Missourians will begin receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in the next week.

Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday activated the state’s “Phase 1B - Tier 1” plan, which will offer vaccines to law enforcement, fire service and public health professionals.

The first tier of Phase 1B went into effect Thursday. It will be followed by the activation of “Phase 1B - Tier 2” on Monday, Jan. 18.

In the second-tier phase, priority will go to those at increased risk for severe illness, including those 65 and older and adults with chronic diseases, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and weakened immune systems.

While those two tiers will be activated, there currently are not enough vaccines for everyone included in those groups. The activation of these phases, however, will allow facilities and organizations to continue planning for future phases, according to Parson’s office.

“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 news release. “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.”

Parson said federal partners notified the state that it should expect a significant increase in vaccine supply next week.

Any individual in Phase 1A, which focuses on health care providers, and Phase 1B - Tier 1 should work with their employer or association to access the vaccine.

Those in Phase 1B - Tier 2 should contact their local pharmacy or health care provider. More information also can be found online at MOStopsCovid.com.

According to the state, at least 27% of those in Phase 1A have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to health care workers, Phase 1A also focused on residents and staff of long-term care facilities. People in that phase will continue to be vaccinated as the additional phases and tiers are activated.

More than 160,000 people in the state have now received an initial dose, and more than 22,000 have received both doses. The second dose is essential to the vaccine’s efficiency, according to medical experts.

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