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Questions remain as Missouri prepares to open COVID-19 vaccine to next group

On Monday, thousands more people will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but local health departments are still trying to figure out how many shots they'll have

ST. LOUIS — Missouri is getting ready for activation of Phase 1B - Tier 2 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Monday. This includes people who are at a higher risk of getting the virus or having more severe symptoms, including anyone 65 years and older, and people who have severe illnesses like cancer or type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women can also get the vaccine starting Monday.

Anyone who qualifies should contact their doctor or local pharmacy.

But on the day before the roll-out, there are still many questions and much uncertainty. It is difficult to get information from area city and county health officials when they do not know the status of vaccine supplies.

Friday, 5 On Your Side checked in on our local county health departments. St. Louis County and St. Clair County had received shipments of the vaccine. But St. Louis city health department, and Lincoln, Jefferson, and Pike counties were still waiting.

We asked Pandemic Task Force Director Dr. Alex Garza about that. While he doesn't have a say in the decision-making process, he believes it could be based on several factors.

“The decision process might've been based on population or it might've been based on risk populations within those counties," Garza said.

In Franklin County, residents can start getting the vaccine Monday. Right now, the only place in the county to get a vaccine is Mercy Hospital in Washington. You do have to register on the county's website. There's also a vaccine drive planned for Jan. 30 at the Union City Auditorium.

As area health officials receive more information regarding when they will be in possession of COVID-19 vaccine supplies, they will make that information available to 5 On Your Side, and we will make that information available to you.