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Do you qualify for Missouri’s next round of COVID-19 vaccines?

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 6:03 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has activated the next phases of COVID-19 vaccinations that includes police and firefighters starting on Friday, January 15 and people with high health risks on Monday, January 18.

“People are anxious about when their turn’s gonna be but people have to be patient because we’re making plans to distribute and to vaccinate with something we don’t yet have,” explained Dr. Robin Trotman, a CoxHealth Infectious Disease Specialist.

So even though the Governor will activate Phase 1B-Tier 2 of the state’s vaccination plan on Monday it comes with a caveat.

“It does not mean that we are immediately going to hit the ‘GO’ button and start vaccinating folks that fall in that Tier 2 or high risk individual,” said Taney County Health Director Lisa Marshall. “We do not have a clear timeline on that because of the vaccine availability. Many of us have ordered this several weeks ago or possibly even last month in December but there’s still a little bit of a limited supply.”

But what you can do right now is start figuring out if you qualify as a Tier 2 recipient.

The expanded group of qualifiers include anyone age 65-and-older or adults with any of the following conditions:

o Cancer

o Chronic Kidney Disease

o COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

o Intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome

o Heart Conditions such as heart failure, CAD (coronary artery disease) or cardiomyopathies

o Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant

o Severe Obesity (BMI >40kg/m2)

o Pregnancy

o Sickle Cell Disease

o Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Still to come and not yet activated is Tier 3 which involves essential workers. That includes teachers in pre-K-12th grade, childcare workers and sectors of communication, energy services, food production and distribution (includes grocery and convenience stores), government officials, water and wastewater, nuclear reactions, information technology and transportation (includes truck drivers).

Then its Phase 2 that takes in those critically affected by the economy and those important to the economy’s recovery like manufacturing, finance, higher education staffs and the homeless.

Phase 3 then involves everyone else who wants a shot.

Something to keep in mind?

“We can’t vaccinate everyone who wants it in every phase before we move to the next phase,” Dr. Trotman pointed out. “There’s going to be overlap.”

It’s also important to understand there will be a variety of places you can choose from to get the vaccine from health care facilities to pharmacies to health departments to community centers and mobile sites just announced by President-Elect Biden.

“It never hurts to reach out to your primary care doctor,” Marshall said. “And also just calling around to see who’s going to provide it in your community because every county is just a little bit different. It’s always good to know what’s available in your county.”

Many counties already have online registrations for you to sign-up no matter what tier you’re in.

“Right now the best thing that folks can do is basically get on the list so that when we do have vaccine available we can reach out to those individuals who want a vaccine and make sure we get them scheduled,” Marshall said.

Overall there are some important things to remember.

Be patient, don’t expect everything to happen at once, you’re better off going online than trying to make phone calls and checking a company’s Facebook or other social media site is a great way to find out what the latest is on vaccinations being offered.

Good luck, stay informed and stay healthy!

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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