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Missouri governor announces activation of next coronavirus vaccination phase


Gov. Mike Parson announced Missourians in Phase 2 of the state vaccination plan will become coronavirus vaccine-eligible on March 29.

The governor included, Phase 3, which includes all state residents, will be activated to receive a vaccine on April 9.

Watch the briefing replay in the player below.

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.

“With the progress we are currently seeing and vaccine supply expected to increase significantly in the coming weeks, we are well ahead of schedule with our vaccine plan,” Governor Parson said. “Supply projections are subject to change, but it is critical that we start preparing for this potential influx and ensure there is a consistent number of people who are eligible and interested in receiving a vaccine.”

State officials say the timeline for activating Phases 2 and 3 ensures that there is a sufficient number of people who are eligible and interested in receiving a vaccine.

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.

Phase 3 will be open to all Missouri adults, extending vaccine eligibility to an estimated 1.1 million Missourians who were not activated under any other tier or phase.

With all phases of Missouri's Vaccination Plan activated, approximately 4.5 million Missourians will be eligible.

The state estimates that approximately 60 percent of these Missourians are interested in getting a vaccine.

Last week, Parson announced a mass vaccination event at Arrowhead in Kansas City, it starts at 9 a.m. on Friday and will continue on Saturday.

Up to 6,000 people are able to be vaccinated at the event.

Since the announcement, the governor has announced a similar event will be held in St. Louis. Like Kansas City, vaccinations for 6,000 people will be available at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park on March 25 and 26.

Dr. Randall Williams, the head of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said last week he does not expect Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipments to rapidly pick up until April.

Since Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Merck to produce the vaccine, Williams said he is expecting more weekly shipments of the single-dose shot. 

State leaders updated the vaccine distribution plan recently. Instead of basing the number of doses that a region receives on the entire population, the state will base the number of doses on the vaccine-eligible population.

Selected pharmacies across the state are also now receiving 15% of the state's dose allocation next week. The state has selected 161 pharmacies in 84 counties with hard-to-reach populations.

The state opened up the Phase 1B Tier 3 for vaccination on Monday, which includes teachers, childcare workers and others. The phase added about 550,000 Missourians to the eligibility pool.

Check back for more on this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6 p.m.

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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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