PIKE COUNTY, Mo. — Roll up your sleeves, Missourians. Gov. Mike Parson has announced a new coronavirus vaccination phase will open on March 29 – earlier than originally anticipated. During a Capitol press conference today, Parson says Missouri is well ahead of schedule in its vaccination plan.
“The federal government has informed us that COVID-19 vaccine allotments to Missouri are projected to increase significantly by the first week of April,” says Parson.
Originally, the state expected Phase 2 to open around the end of April.
Activation of the next phase is estimated to extend vaccine eligibility to about 880,000 Missourians.
Here is who will become eligible:
• Chemical Sector: Employees engaged in the manufacture, store, use, and transport of potentially dangerous chemicals and other diverse products in the chemical sector that are essential to modern life and economic activity.
• Construction Sector: Employees or contractors engaged in the construction or repair of buildings, infrastructure or industrial facilities.
• Commercial Facilities Sector: Employees engaged in activities related to the eight subsectors within the commercial facilities sector.
• Critical Manufacturing Sector: Employees in critical manufacturing engaged in the production of certain goods.
• Defense Industrial Base Sector: Employees that contribute to products and services that are essential to mobilize, deploy, and sustain military operations and national defense.
• Financial Services Sector: Employees within the financial services sector.
• Food/Agriculture Sector: Remaining populations within the sector not included in 1B, including restaurants.
• Government: Other state and local government designated personnel required to provide essential services.
• Higher Education: Faculty and staff at public, private, and/or nonprofit higher education institutions.
• Disproportionately Affected Populations: Populations at increased risk of getting or spreading COVID-19, with emphasis on racial/ethnic minorities not otherwise included in 1B.
• Homeless: Populations at increased risk of getting or spreading COVID-19, excluding those that were already included in 1B.
• Libraries: Staff at public, private, and/or nonprofit libraries.
Parson says the final phase – Phase 3 – is set to open to all remaining Missouri adults on April 9. Activation of this phase will extend vaccine eligibility to an estimated 1.1 million Missourians who were not activated under any other tier or phase.
Parson says Missouri continues to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to try and eventually hold federally-led coronavirus vaccination events in some of the state’s urban areas.
“I do want to add with the work we have been doing with FEMA on the federal level has been ongoing, trying to make sure that we could get all the details worked out, where FEMA would come in with their supplies, their vaccinators, and be able to help us to be able to administer more vaccines. Glad that they’re going to be willing to come into the state and help with those resources,” says Parson. “And again, we are working on those plans as we move forward. But it looks like at this point, both of those events will probably be in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.”
Parson says his administration has been talking to the feds since the end of January about holding the events.
“This will continue to alleviate the current backlog local providers are facing due to the high demand for vaccines and other urban areas. With supply increasing, we are hopeful that these backlogs will be cleared very soon,” says Parson.
A complete list of populations included in each phase as well as activation status is available at MOStopsCOVID.com/priority.