JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson gave an update on the initial distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a briefing on Wednesday.
“We have been preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine for many months now, and everything has gone according to our state vaccine plan,” Parson said. “Hospital administrators, health care workers, and Missourians from across the state have expressed how thankful they are that a vaccine is here and see these first shipments as a sign of hope for the future.”
Missouri’s 21 initial vaccination sites have received almost all 51,675 doses of the first Pfizer vaccine shipment, according to a press release. The state expects to receive another significant shipment to additional vaccination sites next week.
The state could also receive its first shipment of 105,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week, pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccines were received on Monday. Nearly 1,000 frontline health care workers have already received the vaccine, the release stated.
“The delivery of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline caregivers is a significant milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial shipment was distributed rapidly, and health care workers began receiving vaccinations Monday,” said Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO Herb Kuhn.
“As additional vaccines come on line and shipments are received, these new tools will help protect a growing number of the state’s health care professionals and the at-risk populations they serve. We are at the beginning of a massive vaccination effort. However, this week’s speed and efficiency in delivery and administration is very promising.”
Parson also gave an update on the state’s partnership with health care performance improvement company Vizient.
“In addition to the vaccine arrival, we are also making progress with expanding our health care system capacity. Through our partnership with Vizient, we will soon have an additional 117 hospital staff members on the ground, from ICU registered nurses to respiratory therapists,” Parson said.
Six Missouri health care systems are participating in the 12-week partnership, including SSM Health in St. Louis and Jefferson City, St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, MOSAIC Life Care, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, BJC Healthcare and CoxHealth.
During the briefing, Parson also reminded Missourians to continue social distancing, wearing a mask, minimizing travel, avoiding large gatherings and limiting interactions to 15 minutes.
“Although we have had some great news in Missouri this week, the fight is not over. Prevention will continue to be critically important, especially over the holidays,” Parson said. “We must continue to be responsible, change our behavior, and take precautions to slow the spread. This, along with the vaccine, is how we will overcome COVID-19.”
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.