COVID-19 vaccines will be available to priority groups by mid-December according to Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Williams said the Health Department is committed to distributing more than 339,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines before the end of December.
“With that amount alone, we should be able to move through all of our long term care facility residents, staff, and health care providers,” Williams said.
As part of Phase 1A in the Missouri vaccination plan, the Health Department expects the distribution of vaccinations to nursing home residents will eliminate a major contributor to the state’s death rate, given that nearly half of COVID-19 related deaths in the state occur in nursing homes.
Anyone who receives the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will be required to have an initial dose followed by a second dose three weeks later.
Williams said Phase 1A will be followed by Phase 1B in February, where essential workers will have access to a vaccine and said that the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccinations should also be available by that time.
Nonessential workers in Missouri are expected to have access to a vaccine by May, and all Missouriresidents are expected to have access to a vaccine by July or August.
Williams said he will be meeting with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, General Gustave F. Perna and others Tuesday at the White House to discuss Missouri’s vaccination plans.