Next Phase of COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Activated in Missouri

by: Scott McCaulley (additional reporting from Ozarks First)

The State of Missouri is entering the next phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson made the announcement on Thursday stating that Phase 1-B will be broken down into three tiers. Governor Parson stated in the press release that although initial tiers within Phase 1B are being activated today and Monday, there are currently not enough vaccines for everyone included in these groups. As additional supplies arrive, this activation will allow for the greatest vaccine coverage where it is most needed. It will also allow vaccinators and organizations to continue planning effectively for future tiers and phases.

Shortly after the announcement, the Taney County Health Department released information about their implementation of Phase 1B. The release states that although some people can start getting vaccines immediately, the Health Department will not have a supply on hand until at least next week. The Health Department has established a site on their website to fill out a survey and get on a list for preregistration. That link is also available on the TCHD Facebook Page.

The complete release from the Taney County Health Department including more details about Phase 1-B is below:
The Taney County Health Department (TCHD) is notifying the public of an expansion in the qualifying categories for COVID-19 vaccination. This expansion follows Governor Parson’s announcement today that local public health agencies may begin vaccinating these additional groups in the order outlined below. Vaccinations of individuals in these groups will occur as soon as TCHD receives vaccine. TCHD is expecting to receive its first doses of the vaccine next week.

Effective immediately, non-patient facing public health infrastructure, first responders, emergency management and public works, and emergency services sector are eligible for vaccination. This category includes all employees working in law enforcement, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, emergency management, and public works.

High-risk individuals in the following categories become eligible beginning Monday, January 18th:
Anyone aged 65 and older
Adults with the following conditions:
o Cancer
o Chronic Kidney Disease
o COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
o Intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome
o Heart Conditions such as heart failure, CAD (coronary artery disease) or cardiomyopathies
o Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
o Severe Obesity (BMI >40kg/m2)
o Pregnancy
o Sickle Cell Disease
o Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Individuals interested in receiving the vaccine can submit their information on the TCHD website at http://www.taneycohealth.org. The link is also available on TCHD’s Facebook page. After completing the form, individuals will be contacted for further information and to schedule an appointment.
TCHD is currently expecting to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses, 21-days apart. Pfizer’s published data states that the vaccine reaches 95% immunity seven-days after the second dose is administered.
“We are excited to bring this vaccine to our residents.” states Lisa Marshall, Director of the Taney County Health Department. “Something of this magnitude has never been done before, and we continue to ask for your patience and understanding.”

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