JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Thursday afternoon Missouri entered its next phase of giving out the coronavirus vaccine.
A release from Gov. Mike Parson's office said Phase 1B Tier 1 begins Thursday and that Tier 2 will start on Monday -- slightly ahead of schedule.
The release said all Missouri first responders fall under the first tier of the phase. It includes law enforcement officers, firefighters, public health professionals and others, the release said.
On Monday, the state will enter the second tier of Phase 1B. All Missourians who are at increased risk of severe illness will be able to receive the vaccine. It includes all state residents aged 65 and older, any adult with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and anyone with a weakened immune system as a result of an organ transplant, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease or Type 2 Diabetes.
Before Thursday, both tiers were included in the state's second vaccination phase, they have since been broken down into separate groups.
The release said all of the people included in Phase 1B won't initially be able to receive a dose of vaccine.
"There are currently not enough vaccines for everyone included in these groups. As additional supplies arrive, this activation will allow for the greatest vaccine coverage where it is most needed," the release said.
State officials included in the release that Missourians who fall under tier 1 should work with their employer to get access to the vaccine and that tier 2 residents should reach out to local pharmacies or health care providers to receive a dose.
The release said more information about regional vaccine teams will be added to the state's coronavirus vaccine website on Friday.
Parson tweeted on Thursday that a little more than 190,000 doses of vaccine have been given out in Missouri.
According to the release, at least 27% of state residents in the initial phase of the vaccine plan have received their first dose vaccine. It included that about 22,000 Missourians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Health leaders said vaccine education will be critical in reaching widespread COVID-19 immunity.
Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reports the group is working on implementing phase 1B in Boone County as they continue to vaccinate those in phase 1A.
The health department is also beginning to vaccinate those within Phase 1B, Tier 1.
Officials say the department is putting programs and people in place to be able to vaccinate the high-risk individuals identified as group 1B, Tier 2 - adults ages 65 and over and those with certain medical conditions. The health department will make a public announcement when residents in tier 2 are available.
Columbia and Boone County residents can sign up for notifications of when vaccines are available to them by filling out this form.