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Local vaccine providers prepare for the upcoming large number of vaccine-eligible people


Gov. Mike Parson announced Missourians in Phase 2 of the state vaccination plan will become coronavirus vaccine-eligible on March 29. Phase 3, which includes all state residents, will be activated to receive a vaccine on April 9.

The activation of Phase 2 is estimated to extend vaccine eligibility to 880,000 Missourians that includes those employed in construction, critical manufacturing, higher education, and remaining food and agriculture sectors. This also includes homeless and disproportionately affected populations with an emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, among others.

Federal officials informed state officials they will receive more coronavirus vaccine doses the first week of April allowing for the state to open up Phase 2 and 3.

Dr. Robin Blount, chief medical officer of Boone Hospital Center, said her understanding is that vaccine supply is going to rapidly increase in the next few weeks.

Blount said all types of vaccine doses are going to pick up. "The Pfizer and Moderna that is coming into Missouri now compared to three or four weeks from now is quite a bit more," said Blount.

Blount said the Johnson and Johnson single shot dose is also expected to have more routine weekly shipments throughout April.

"The Johnson and Johnson is a great option to reach people in hard-to-reach areas when you may not be sure if they are able to return for a second dose," said Blount.

The Johnson and Johnson doses that are currently in the state have been a key factor in vaccinating people in hard-to-reach areas.

Parson said Johnson and Johnson doses will be used at vaccination events in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas in the next few weeks.

Blount said that Boone Hospital Center has been identified as a mid-vaccinator. This means that started next week they will have a steady supply of at least 1,000 weekly doses or more.

Kristi Campbell with Cole County Health Department said, "We will be working internally and with our health care partners to develop lists of interested individuals and clinic opportunities."

Campbell continues to stress the importance of the vaccine supply increasing. "The vaccine supply has been the limiting factor for scheduling clinics and providing vaccine," said Campbell.

Both the University of Missouri and Columbia College said they will continue to encourage employees to get vaccinations wherever is most convenient for them. They said this could vary depending on where they live and their personal circumstances.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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