JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — More Missourians are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The state moves to Phase 1B-Tier 3 on Monday, March 15, which makes the vaccine available to an additional 550,000 Missouri residents.
Several groups of essential workers — like teachers, childcare providers and grocery store workers — are included in this latest group. Tier 3 focuses on vaccinating what the state classifies as its “critical infrastructure”. Last month, Gov. Mike Parson described Tier 3 as including an important part of the state’s population, including "workers in many of the industries we depend on to keep our everyday lives operating normally."
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
While the state is moving forward with the next tier, several vaccinators in the St. Louis area say they’re not ready — they’re still working through a backlog of people who want to get the shot but haven’t had an opportunity yet.
So far, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force hospitals (BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health, St. Luke’s Hospital) have all said they will continue working through the previous tiers for now.
According to the CDC, 19.4% of people have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 10.3% of people have been fully vaccinated. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services data is lagging behind the CDC data as of Sunday.
If you would like more information on how to get on a vaccine waitlist in your community, read 5 On Your Side's complete vaccination guide with links, phone numbers and the latest on mass vaccine events in your area.
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