Missouri governor visits retail pharmacy vaccine site; thanks grocery store workers

Regional News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Another pharmacy chain in Missouri will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations starting this week.

Governor Mike Parson toured one of the locations Monday afternoon, Feb. 22, to talk with the pharmacist who will soon be administering the vaccine. He was also at the supermarket chain Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to thank grocery store workers for their work during the pandemic.

“If you don’t think it made a difference when you showed up for work, it did,” Parson said. “Over the last 10 months, why was that so important? So, people could live some sort of normal life, quote what is normal, during a pandemic.”

There are more than 100,000 grocery store workers in Missouri. Parson said it’s a $10 billion industry and Monday is National Supermarket Employee Appreciation Day.

“Today we are going to stop and pause a moment to recognize all the grocery workers, but not only in this store, not only in Jefferson City, not only in the State of Missouri, but throughout the United States that have worked tirelessly for the last year making sure our customers our friends, our neighbors, had the food and the resources to live a life,” Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Jefferson County, said during the press conference Monday.

Parson said these essential workers helped every Missourian through this pandemic.

“From my position, I just want to personally tell you from one, as the governor, and two, as an everyday person, I just appreciate everything you’ve done for the people of this state, during this time,” Parson said. “How difficult things have been over the last 11 months, for me as the governor, but also for you that had to come to work every day to do your job, to take care of the rest of the people of this state.”

Both Parson and Shaul presented a House proclamation to all grocery store employees Monday, thanking and congratulating them.

While visiting one of the 30 Hy-Vee locations Monday, Parson received a first-hand look at the pharmacy inside the grocery chain, where vaccines will be given later this week. Hy-Vee will join Walmart, Sam’s Clubs and Health Mart Pharmacies in administering the vaccine through the federal retail pharmacy program.

“We are going to be giving an allotment every four minutes,” Hy-Vee Pharmacy Manager at the Jefferson City location Marrianne Ryno said. “We’re going to be pushing through as many as we can for 11 hours a day.”

The governor promised more doses are headed to the state.

“The vaccine is coming, more and more vaccine is coming to the state,” Parson said. “We’re able to put out more and more allotments every day. More and more people are getting vaccination in their arms.”

Until more vaccine arrives in the state and more shots are in arms, Parson wants people to be responsible.

“Stay the course,” Parson said. “We are not out of this yet. Things look good, but we still have to do our part to take care of one another.”

According to Hy-Vee, more than 20 of their 30 locations will be offering the vaccine with prioritizing those who are 65 years and older. Ryno did not know exactly when their shipment will arrive, but they are planning for some time this week. Patients must register through Hy-Vee’s website before receiving the vaccine inside the store. Missouri is currently vaccinating Phase 1A and 1B, Tiers one and two.

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