JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be the main reason why more than 2 million eligible Missourians still haven't been vaccinated.
To help efficiently distribute the doses that are available, Missouri's vaccine planning team has selected hospitals throughout the state that will be receiving just over half of the state’s weekly vaccine allocation throughout the month of February.
Federal partners are responsible for how many vaccines the state receives, which is currently about 76,000 doses per week, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The state decides how to divide its doses among Missouri’s enrolled COVID-19 vaccinators.
“We are committed to fairly allocating doses in regions throughout the state and working with vaccinators to ensure efficient administration of the vaccine,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Our partnership with the selected hospitals will help provide the consistency needed for effective planning of high-volume vaccine clinics to occur at the local level.”
The plan is focused on the selected hospitals in each region of the state as having the capability to administer 5,000 vaccines per week. Actual amounts each hospital receives will be proportional to regional population, the release stated.
Weekly vaccine delivery from the federal allocation will rotate between the groups of identified hospitals and partners to reduce the burden on individual organizations.
“The hospitals included in the first phase of this plan were selected for their ability to rapidly begin community vaccination efforts on a large scale,” said Herb B. Kuhn, Missouri Hospital Association president and CEO. “Beginning today — and continuing as vaccines arrive in the days and weeks ahead — hospitals will be sharing how community members can sign up for their vaccine.”
Missouri is committing about 53% of weekly vaccine supplies to selected hospitals, and about 23% will be devoted to regional mass vaccination events.
Eight percent will be allocated to local public health agencies and another 8% will be received by federally qualified health centers. The remaining 8% will go to any other enrolled providers or "community providers" requesting vaccines.
In the St. Louis area, selected health care systems include BJC Healthcare, SSM Health, Mercy St. Louis, St. Luke’s Hospital and the St. Louis County Health Department. Click here for the full list of selected hospitals in the state.
As the vaccine supply increases, all hospitals and community providers who have the interest and capability will be "engaged to ensure successful mass vaccine delivery efforts in Missouri,” the release stated.
“Our plan continues to remain focused on saving lives and fair distribution to ensure accessibility no matter where in the state you live,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Department of Health and Senior Services director. “We believe this approach will help safely get vaccines in arms throughout the state as efficiently as possible.”
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Missouri, click here.