Missouri moves to next COVID-19 vaccine phase, making shots available to thousands

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri shifted into the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan Thursday morning. The move to Phase 1B means about 200,000 additional people can be vaccinated.

There are three tiers in Phase 1B. Only the first two have been activated so far.

Phase 1B-Tier 1:

  • First responders: Law enforcement, fire services, corrections officers, other federal, state and local first responders beyond EMS/EMTs
  • Public health employees without direct contact with patients: Administrators and other staff who carry out jobs that are necessary to the state’s health care and were not included in Phase 1A
  • Emergency management and public works: Federal, state and local government employees who fall into these categories, and nonprofit organizations that partner with these agencies
  • Emergency services: People who are defined in the emergency services sector, but aren’t listed in other categories

On Monday, Jan. 18, the state will activate Phase 1B-Tier 2, adding millions of people to those who qualify for a vaccine. This tier includes about 40% of the state’s population.

Phase 1B-Tier 2:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • Adults with the following conditions:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD
    • Intellectual and/or developmental disabilities
    • Heart conditions
    • Weaken immune system due to organ transplant
    • Severe obesity (BBI > 40)
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

At that time, anyone in phase 1A, 1B-Tier 1 and 1B-Tier 2 can get a vaccine, but the state warns it does not have enough doses for everyone in these three categories.

Phase 1B-Tier 3:

State leaders said the activation of Phase 1B-Tier 3, including teachers and other essential workers, has not been determined yet.

  • Education: Teachers, faculty, and staff in public, private, and nonprofit pre K – 12.
  • Childcare: Faculty and staff in a DHSS or DSS -licensed facility providing basic care to children
  • Communications Sector Employees at public, private, or nonprofit organizations that provide communications services
  • Dams Sector: Employees at public, private, or nonprofit organizations that provide services in the dams sector related to critical water retention and control services.
  • Energy Sector: Employees at public, private, or nonprofit organizations that provide energy services, regardless of the energy source.
  • Food/Agriculture Sector – initial: Employees of certain food production and processing facilities, and related operations, prioritizing mass food production, distribution, transportation, wholesale and retail sales, including grocery and convenience stores where groceries are sold; includes veterinary services.
  • Government: Elected officials in any branch of government at the state, county, and/or municipal levels required for the continuity of government; members of the judiciary at the federal, state, and/or local levels required for the continuity of government; employees designated by the federal government that fall within
  • Information Technology Sector: Employees at public, private, or nonprofit organizations that provide IT services.
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector: Employees at public, private, or nonprofit organizations that work in this sector.
  • Transportation Systems Sector: Employees in the transportation systems sector including aviation, highway and motor carriers, maritime transportation systems, mass transit and passenger rail, pipeline systems, freight rail, and postal shipping.
  • Water and Wastewater Systems Sector Employees at public, private, and/or nonprofit organizations that provide drinking or wastewater services.

So now what?

If you fall into one of these three categories, the state says you have two options:

Phase 1A

  • Work through your employer or long-term care facility to access the vaccine

Phase 1B-Tier 1

  • Work through your employer and/or association to access the vaccine.

Phase 1B-Tier 2

  • Contact your local pharmacy or health care provider
  • Visit Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine website to learn when vaccines may be available and how to receive them.

When there is a vaccination for you, there will be a screening process.

Eligibility Screening

  • Provide a verification of eligibility when phase/tier is activated
  • Fill out a screening form at MoStopsCOVID.com or at a vaccination site
  • Answer questions truthfully

Missourians with questions about eligibility and the vaccines can to go MoStopsCOVID.com or call the COVID-19 Hotline at (877) 435-8411.

As more vaccines becomes available, the state will work with pharmacies and possibly help organize community vaccination events.

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