Missouri will make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 9, and the next phase of eligibility will go into effect March 29, affecting infrastructure workers and higher education.
Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan will roll out Monday, March 29, and Phase 3 — all eligible adults — will move ahead on Friday, April 9, Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday.
“With the progress we are currently seeing and vaccine supply expected to increase significantly in the coming weeks, we are well ahead of schedule with our vaccine plan,” Parson said in a news release. “Supply projections are subject to change, but it is critical that we start preparing for this potential influx and ensure there is a consistent number of people who are eligible and interested in receiving a vaccine.”
The federal government has informed the state that COVID-19 vaccine allotments to Missouri are projected to significantly increase by the first week of April. The timeline for activating Phases 2 and 3 ensures that there is a consistent number of people who are eligible and interested in receiving a vaccine, allowing vaccinators across the state to continue vaccinating Missourians without delays due to those who are eligible but not seeking a vaccine, Parson’s office said.
Activation of Phase 2 is estimated to extend vaccine eligibility to approximately 880,000 Missourians that the state considers “essential to equitable economic recovery,” including those employed in construction, critical manufacturing, higher education and remaining food and agriculture sectors. This also includes homeless and disproportionately affected populations with an emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, among others.
Phase 3 will be open to all Missouri adults, extending vaccine eligibility to an estimated 1.1 million Missourians who were not activated under any other tier or phase. A complete list of populations included in each phase as well as activation status is available at MOStopsCOVID.com/priority.
With all Missouri tiers activated, approximately 4.5 million Missourians will be eligible for the vaccine. The state estimates that approximately 60 percent of these Missourians are interested in getting a vaccine.
To date, one in four Missourians have initiated vaccination, and approximately 50 percent of Missouri’s 65 and older population have gotten at least their first shot. Vulnerable populations in currently activated phases that have not yet received a vaccine will continue to be eligible as Missouri moves into Phases 2 and 3.
“Missouri’s position is continuously improving on the COVID-19 front,” Parson said. “With over 1.2 million Missourians having initiated vaccination, large increases in vaccine supply, and the activation of Phases 2 and 3, we are confident that we are winning the battle against COVID-19.”