COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri has received more than 400,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine and given out about 235,000 shots since mid-December.
But beyond next week, state health officials say they don't know when or how many more doses are coming. Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday that the state is "experiencing an exceptionally limited supply" of the vaccine.
Tier 2 of Phase 1B of the state's vaccination plan started this week, which includes people 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. However, many local health departments and health care providers are yet to start giving those doses, citing a limited supply.
"Due to continuing constraints on supply, we are unable to predict at this time when we may be able to transition into future tiers and phases," Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said Wednesday.
Cox said the state government does not receive vaccine doses directly -- doses of the Pfizer vaccine are distributed straight from the manufacturer to the vaccinator. The state's tracking numbers don't include the Moderna vaccine that is being distributed to Walgreens and CVS for long-term care facility vaccinations.
The state health department only knows the number of vaccine doses that will be received by vaccinators across the state on a weekly basis. Cox said the state plans to receive 76,225 vaccine doses next week.
Using the state's numbers, Missouri has received about 80,000 doses per week in the approximately five weeks since the first doses arrived. About 47,000 shots per week have been administered.
The uncertainty comes as a new administration takes over in the White House, promising to administer 100 million doses across the nation in its first 100 days.
Local health departments are struggling to complete vaccinations of Phase 1A and Tier 1 of Phase 1B because of the limited supply of vaccine doses. The Columbia/Boone County Health Department has a limited supply of vaccine doses and is waiting to receive more doses of the vaccine in order to move forward with Tier 2 vaccinations.
But Cole County providers say they're moving ahead with Tier 2 now.
The Cole County Health Department started vaccinations of those who are in Tier 2 this week. Capital Region Medical Center started providing vaccinations for Tier 2 on Tuesday. SSM St. Mary's hospital in Jefferson City will start vaccinating Tier 2 on Thursday.
Boone Hospital says by the end of the week they should have administered about 5,000 doses. The hospital has proceeded with vaccinating the Tier 2 population and plans to continue providing vaccinations as long as it is available.
Capital Region Medical Center has started Tier 2 vaccinations and plans to host a mass vaccination clinic Friday and Saturday. The clinic will be held at the Capital West Conference Center and Church located on Fair Grounds Road in Jefferson City. The hospital plans to vaccinate over 1,400 people during this event.
Denis Hamilton, the Director of Pharmacy Services at CRMC said, "We did not get vaccines delivered to us this past week, our hospital did not. So the amount of vaccine that we have on hand right now, dedicated for initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be utilized this weekend, we will use every bit of it to vaccinate these 14, 15 hundred people and in doing so we can’t really prepare for vaccine clinics next week without knowing whether we’re going to have a vaccine or not.”
Local hospitals continue to have a concern about the amount of vaccine doses available.