JEFFERSON CITY — An additional 550,000 Missourians will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine next Monday, Gov. Mike Parson announced earlier this month.
The next level — officially listed by the state as “Phase 1b, Tier 3” — vaccinates “critical infrastructure,” including teachers, childcare workers, government officials, food and agriculture employees, energy employees and more. More information about Tier 3 eligibility can be found on the state’s vaccine website.
With the move to Tier 3, state officials estimate that more than 3.5-million Missourians will be eligible to be vaccinated, in total. As of the first of this month, 756,334 people had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Missouri’s vaccination dashboard.
Parson said a recent study from the Missouri Hospital Association found that roughly 40 percent of Missourians are unlikely to seek out the vaccine.
“Part of why we are activating Tier 3 on March 15 is to make sure that there is a steady flow of people who are eligible and interested in getting vaccinated,” Parson said.
“This allows the vaccinators across the state to continue vaccinating Missourians without having to wait on those who don’t want one.”
Parson said an estimated 800,000 Missourians are currently eligible for and interested in receiving the vaccine. He anticipates that the state will vaccinate over 400,000 people by next Monday.
Announcing the new tier early allows hospitals and other vaccinators to prepare for an influx of people who want to receive the vaccine.
“For now, we ask that vaccinators work in their communities to plan for March 15,” Parson said. “We want this to be a smooth process, and it will be up to vaccinators to start planning now so that Tier 3 populations are ready.”
Parson said he expects to activate Phase 2 within 45 days of next Monday.
Vaccines still coming
Parson said Missouri was allotted over 120,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines last week, along with over 128,500 doses for this week.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was expected to be granted an Emergency Use Authorization from the federal Food & Drug Administration over the past weekend. Once approved by the state health department, Parson said he expects the state will be able to order the Johnson & Johnson vaccine early this week.
Parson said he expects to receive around 50,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Additionally, roughly 233,600 vaccine doses have been shipped to CVS and Walgreens locations across the state, as well as 38,990 doses for Walmart, Healthmart and Hy-Vee.
Here is a list provided by the state of those who will be included in the next vaccine tier that arrives Monday:
• K-12 educators.
• Childcare workers.
• Communications infrastructure employees.
• Workers in the dams sector.
• Workers in the energy sector.
• Food and agriculture workers in Sector 1.
• Government employees.
• Workers in information technology.
• Workers in the nuclear reactor sector.
• Transportation systems workers.
• Employees at water and wastewater systems.