Missouri launches new COVID-19 vaccine website, explaining planned phases of vaccine availability

(Source: KCAL, KCBS, CDC, CNN)
Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 12:31 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2020 at 12:35 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A new website offers information for Missouri residents on COVID-19 vaccines and how the state plans to respond when vaccines becomes available.

MOStopsCOVID.com first launched Tuesday. It provides Missourians with information regarding the safety of the vaccines, research and production processes, and when they could be eligible for vaccination.

“It’s been remarkable to learn about the work that has been going on for many months now among scientists and researchers, many of whom are right here in Missouri,” said Gov. Parson in a statement Tuesday. “The most important thing we’ve learned about the accelerated development process is that steps have not been eliminated but are instead occurring simultaneously. Safety is not being sacrificed, and it’s important for Missourians to understand this.”

Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine plan was finalized and submitted to the CDC in October.

“Missouri got a very early start preparing for vaccinations because we think it’s our best path to getting to a better place,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said. “This process is one that has continued to evolve, and we are committed to providing Missourians with the information they need as quickly as we can provide it. Information is empowering, and personal choices made during this public health emergency can positively impact yourself, those around you, and your entire community.”

According to the website, Missourians will qualify for vaccination based on three priority phases, anticipating a limited initial supply. The plan calls for the following phases:

  • Phase 1 – Healthcare workers, essential workers and high risk populations
  • Phase 2 – Phase 1 populations, as well as all Missouri residents
  • Phase 3 – Widespread availability for all Missouri residents

COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children or pregnant women at first, according to the website.

In Phase 1, the state elaborates on healthcare workers, essential workers and high-risk populations for which the vaccine could become available:

Healthcare workers

Healthcare personnel and staff who may have direct or indirect exposure to COVID-19 and are unable to work from home. This may include workers at:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Long-term Care Facilities
  • Assisted Living
  • Residential Care
  • Inpatient and Outpatient Facilities

Essential workers

  • Public-Facing Healthcare
  • First Responders
  • Childcare Workers
  • Teachers & Education Staff
  • Water/Wastewater Workers
  • Energy Workers
  • Critical Manufacturing Workers
  • Food & Agriculture Workers

High-risk populations

Those at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, including those 65 years of age or older, may receive priority:

  • BMI > 30
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic Heart Disease

Nationally, a panel of U.S. advisers will meet Tuesday to vote on how initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed once approved.

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