COVID-19/Missouri Update

by Taylor Ingram, One for All Missouri

Last week, Missouri announced plans to extend vaccine eligibility to members of Phase 1B, Tier 3 starting March 15. Following the authorization of a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson this past weekend, the state’s vaccine distribution is expected to pick up momentum as we head into the spring.

Phase 1B, Tier 3 includes approximately 550,000 Missourians who keep essential functions of society running. Phase 1B, Tier 3 includes: K-12 educators and school employees, childcare providers, government workers, and others belonging to professions considered critical infrastructure are among those included in this priority group.

Vaccination of the priority groups that are currently eligible will take time. As vaccine supply increases, more Missourians will become eligible for the vaccine. So far, 13.8% of Missourians have received at least once dose of the vaccine, and 7.1% have received their second dose. Missourians are encouraged to practice patience and continue taking safety measures – including social distancing, frequent hand-washing and wearing a mask – to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Saturday, February 27th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is the third vaccine authorized in the U.S. to protect against COVID-19. Distribution could begin as early as this week. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given as a single dose, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require two doses. Like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.