JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The State of Missouri is moving to the next phase for vaccinations.
On Thursday, the state activated Phase 1B-Tier 1, which prioritizes vaccinating those who work to keep Missourians safe and help in emergencies. State health officials explained who qualifies for this tier in the details below.
Phase 1B-Tier 1 includes:
- Non-patient facing public health employees: Administrators and staff at federal, state or local public health agencies and other healthcare workers who carry out functions necessary to the operation of the state’s healthcare infrastructure that were not included in 1A
- First responders: All federal, state and/or local first responders beyond EMS/EMTs in 1A, including law enforcement, fire services, corrections and certain social service agencies.
- Emergency management and public works: Federal, state or local government employees in emergency management and public works agencies, identified nonprofit organizations designated as partner voluntary agencies.
- Emergency services sector: Employees defined in the emergency services sector not otherwise listed, including law enforcement, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, emergency management and public works.
There are about 200,000 people in this tier.
On Monday, Jan. 18, the state will activate Phase 1B-Tier 2. This group includes high-risk populations and everyone who is 65 and older. It'll open up the vaccine to millions of Missourians.
Phase 1B-Tier 2 includes:
- Anyone 65 and older
- Adults with the following conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions
- Weakened immune system due to organ transplant
- Severe obesity (BMI > 40)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
This tier includes about 2.5 million people, which is about 40% of the state’s population.
Health care providers will continue to vaccinate the Phase 1A population even as the vaccination process opens up to the next phases. The state estimates about 27% of the Phase 1A group has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those who are administering the vaccine to the Phase 1A group who have available supply can begin giving the shot to those in the Phase 1B-Tier 1 group.
“Beginning the activation of Phase 1B is all about saving lives and protecting those most vulnerable to exposure and illness from this virus,” Governor Mike Parson said Thursday. “We are looking forward to increased vaccine supply in the coming weeks as supply is the leading factor that dictates our movement through our plan. The more supply we receive, the quicker we can reach our goal of making vaccines available to every Missourian who wants one.”
Individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B-Tier 1 should work through their employer and/or association to access the vaccine.
Individuals in Phase 1B-Tier 2 should contact their local pharmacy or health care provider or visit Missouri's COVID-19 vaccine website to learn when vaccines may be available and how to receive them.
More information about who is included in the Phase 1A and Phase 1B groups is included in the document below.
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Phase 1B-Tier 3 includes initial critical infrastructure and continuity of government. It is not activated currently.
Phase 1B-Tier 3 includes:
- Education: Teachers, faculty and staff in public, private and nonprofit preK-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 I: 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 the state’s vaccine allocation responsibilities; other designated government personnel required for the continuity of government.
- 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
Phase 2 includes disproportionately affected populations, remaining critical infrastructure and higher education.
Phase 2 includes:
- Chemical sector: Employees engaged in the manufacture, store, use and transport of potentially dangerous chemicals and other diverse products in the chemical sector that are essential to modern life and economic activity
- Commercial facilities sector: Employees engaged in activities related to the eight subsectors within the commercial facilities sector
- Critical manufacturing sector: Employees in critical manufacturing engaged in the production of certain goods
- Defense industrial base sector: Employees that contribute to products and services that are essential to mobilize, deploy and sustain military operations and national defense
- Financial services sector: Employees within the financial services sector
- Food/Agriculture sector II: Remaining populations within the sector not included in 1B, including restaurants
- Government: Other state and local government designated personnel required to provide essential services
- Higher education: Faculty and staff at public, private and/or nonprofit higher education institutions
- Disproportionately affected: Populations at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19, with emphasis on racial/ethnic minorities not otherwise included in 1B
- Homeless: Populations at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19, excluding those that were already included in 1B
Phase 3 is for anyone who has not been vaccinated but wants to do so.
Until there is enough vaccines for everyone, the state has to prioritize the limited supply.
Missouri's plan is for everyone who wants a vaccination to get it. But the first priority is to save lives by protecting the highest risk population because they are the most vulnerable.
There is no way to predict a timeline on when everyone will have access to the vaccine. The timeline is based on the availability of the vaccine and when the state receives shipments, the state said.
For further questions, you can call Missouri's COVID-19 Hotline at 877-435-8411.
Statement from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force:
"Today, the state of Missouri announced plans to move on to Phase 1B, allowing more people to register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is an exciting step forward and the health systems and regional health departments are eager to begin distributing vaccine to the broader community once it is available. We are in the planning stages now, and working to understand important logistics around getting access to additional doses and establishing procedures/process to schedule and deliver these vaccines. We are grateful for the public’s patience and will keep everyone updated as these plans come together."