SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Missouri’s Health Director Dr. Randall Williams says there are currently four vaccines that, if approved, will be made available to the 6.1 million Missourians in the coming months.
Dr. Williams told news media in a briefing on Friday Missouri will be receiving more than 339,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December.
With that amount, Williams says we should be able to vaccinate the entirety of people who have been prioritized for Phase 1A of Missouri’s vaccination plan.
Phase 1A includes:
- 58,000 long-term care facility residents
- 70,000 long-term care facility staff
- 15,000 doctors
- 130,000 nurses
- 5,000 medical students
- According to state officials, anyone who works in hospitals, including clergy and housekeeping staff, will also be vaccinated in Phase 1A.
Dr. Williams says Walgreen and CVS have partnered with the state to transport and administer the vaccines to long-term care facilities in Phase 1A.
The first doses for Phase 1A plan to be administered in the first three weeks of Missouri receiving the vaccine:
- Week 1 – Missouri will receive 51,675 doses of the Pfizer vaccine
- Week 2 – Missouri will receive 105,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 63,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine
- Week 3 – Missouri will receive 46,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 110,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine
Dr. Williams says Missouri has been approved to store the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at -94 degrees, at various sites in the state.
To ensure no sites are hoarding doses, each site will only be able to store the vaccines for ten days. This will also ensure the vaccines are being administered as quickly as possible.
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines will require two doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose three weeks after the first dose, while the Moderna vaccine will require a second dose four weeks after the first dose.
Dr. Williams says Operation Warp Speed will be reserving another 339,000 doses that will be needed to provide the second dose for Phase 1A recipients in late January or early February. This ensures second doses will not be impacted if supply shortages arise.
Missouri is expected to start vaccinating those in group Phase 1B in February. This group will include 3 million essential workers such as first-responders, law enforcement officers, teachers, childcare workers, and anyone 65 years or older.
Dr. Williams says he believes up to four vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and J&J) will be available to vaccinate groups in Phase 1B.
The vaccines will likely be administered at places like pharmacies, clinics and doctor’s offices.
Dr. Williams says the government has allowed the National Guard to continue assisting communities through March and will likely also help administer vaccines.
By May 1st, Dr. Williams predicts COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to the general public.
These will likely be administered in places like gymnasiums, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, etc.
And by July or August, Williams says anyone who wants a vaccine should be able to walk into a retail store like Walgreens or CVS and get the vaccine on-site.
Dr. Williams says because Moderna only requires storage in a typical freezer, he expects a majority of the Moderna vaccines to be distributed to smaller communities who may not have the equipment to store the Pfizer vaccine at -94 degrees.
By the time we enter Phase 1B, Williams says doses will be distributed to Missouri communities equally, based on population.
As for the cost, Williams says there is no cost for the actual vaccine. However, vaccine providers are able to charge up to a $25 administration fee to get the shot.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said on Friday no person will be turned away from getting the vaccine because of the inability to pay.
Dr. Williams says Missouri has been recognized as a leader for our vaccination efforts.
Williams will be at the White House on Tuesday to meet with federal officials about Missouri’s vaccination plan.