JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s leaders on the vaccine rollout say the promise of more vaccines, and vaccinators in the coming weeks will likely make a big dent on waiting lists across the state.
As of Wednesday, Feb. 10, 30% of those aged 85 or older have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, followed by 17% of those 75 to 84, and 19% of those 65 to 74.
The main barrier getting in the way of vaccinating more people is a lack of supply. Still, officials said sights are set on a big ramp-up thanks to pharmacies like Walmart and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine’s expected approval.
“Compared to December, we’ve come a long way in the state of Missouri and nationally in a short amount of time,” said Adam Crumbliss, director of community and public health at Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
As major pharmacies begin to receive doses, Walmart announced it will begin administering shots at 81 locations across Missouri.
“They will begin vaccinating as we understand it this Friday, or we’ve been given that assurance from Walmart, DHSS has,” said Robert Knodell, Missouri governor’s deputy chief of staff.
Knodell clarified Sam’s Club locations are included in Walmart’s efforts to begin vaccinations, but you do not need to have a Sam’s Club membership in order to get your shot at one of the locations.
Also this week, the federal government announced an increase in the Moderna vaccine supply. Missouri will now be receiving about 60,000 doses a week, compared to the previously expected 50,000 per week.
Doctor Randall Williams, the health director of Missouri DHSS, said the Johnson and Johnson vaccine’s expected emergency FDA approval is a great thing for the state.
“We should be getting a fairly significant amount of the J&J vaccine,” said Williams. “Which, as you remember, is just one shot, so that doubles our capacity.”
Williams said its still too early to know when the state will move into tier three of Phase 1B.
The next mass vaccinations locally will be in Stone and Taney County on Feb. 12 and 13. The two vaccination events are already fully booked.
If you are eligible and can secure a spot, you are able to go to any mass vaccination site in Missouri. The best thing to do is register with the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Navigator at MOstopsCOVID.com.