Missouri moving to next tier in COVID-19 vaccination plan next month

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that Missouri is moving to the next tier in its vaccination plan next month.

Those in Phase 1B-Tier 3 will be eligible for vaccination starting March 15. This tier includes K-12 teachers and staff, child care workers, communications infrastructure workers, the dams and energy sectors, certain food and agriculture workers, government employees, information technology workers and more.

You can see a complete breakdown of who’s included in Phase 1B-Tier 3 here.

“Missouri has had a vaccine plan since October, and this has not changed. We have been very disciplined in following our plan,” Parson said in a statement. “With vaccine supply steadily increasing, we believe we are in a good position to activate Phase 1B-Tier 3.”

Those who are in Phase 1A and Phase 1B-Tiers 1 and 2 are still able to get the vaccine.

Parson said this move will make about 550,000 more Missourians eligible to be vaccinated. Right now, the state estimates there are 800,000 people currently eligible, interested and still waiting to be vaccinated. Officials expect that number to go down to 400,000 when the next tier is activated, adding more than a half million to the list of eligible residents.

The governor also said if vaccine allotment stays steady or increases, Missourians should expect to move into Phase 2 about 45 days after March 15.

“For now, we ask that vaccinators work in their communities to plan for March 15. We want this to be a smooth process, and it will be up to vaccinators to start planning now so that Tier 3 populations are ready,” Parson said.

As of Feb. 24, about 12% of Missouri’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The governor first broke the news about the announcement Wednesday during the latest episode of 4Star Politics with FOX4’s John Holt and Kansas City Star Editorial Board member Dave Helling.

Parson said that the state is getting more vaccines every day, and he expects the state to begin receiving doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the next week or two. Parson said there are really good things ahead.

“I think you’re going to see us moving forward with the vaccine phases, just moving forward because of all of the stuff we’re doing right now,” Parson told Holt and Helling.

When asked whether the move would include vaccinating teachers, Parson said he would release more information Thursday.

“I think everyone is going to be pleased with the direction we’re going and how we’re going to move the teachers up. They’ll be able to get vaccinations pretty shortly,” Parson said.

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