Missouri to open next tier of vaccinations on March 15

States will handle distribution of COVID-19 vaccines differently
Posted at 3:39 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 19:42:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a much anticipated advancement in the state’s mass vaccination efforts, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday the activation of Phase 1B Tier 3 – to begin Monday, March 15.

The move is expected to make an estimated 550,000 more Missourians to become eligible for the vaccine and if all goes ‘according to plan’ Phase 2 could be activated just 45 days later.

"We still have to remember there's lots of people out there who haven't received the vaccine yet, that they are the priority of this state,” Parson said.

Parson also mentioned how the state reached a milestone this week with more than one-million doses administered.

This next tier will put an emphasis on vaccinating the essential workers ; K-12 teachers, child-care providers, grocery store employees, agriculture, energy and other “critical infrastructure workers,” too.

"What you'll see as we get into this next phase and as the vaccine becomes more available, you'll see us probably take the National Guard to area I would say - let's just say Kansas City or either one - we'll probably put multiple national guard units there where we can maybe do a vaccine of about 6,000 a day,” Parson said. “That's going to be more efficient than what we're doing now."

According to Parson – pharmaceutical companies are increasing their production and the federal government is planning to increase Missouri’s allotment of the vaccine.

With the expectation that Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine will be approved soon, vaccine supply is also expected to increase in the state.

Parson cited data from the CDC and highlighted Missouri’s position as the second-lowest in the country for daily cases over the past seven-days.

Currently, Missouri has a seven-day positivity-rate of 6.1%. At this time two-months ago it was more than double that.

During the rather positive announcement, Parson took time to address how things could be going smoother in the state’s mass vaccination efforts.

"The one thing I would say that we all need to do a better job of? some of these tougher communities to get to, we need to do a better job of getting vaccines to them, and that means the cities need to a better job,” Parson said. “We need to do be able to do a better job to send the national guard in there to target the vaccine."

The state feels comfortable moving to this next phase as it sees a slow, steady increase in the vaccine supply to the state.

People eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 3 include those who work in the following professions:

  • Education
  • Childcare
  • Communications Infrastructure
  • Dams Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Food & Agriculture Sector 1
  • Government
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactor Sector
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water and Wastewater Systems