COVID vaccinations are currently available in Missouri for people who are in categories 1A and 1B Tier 1, as defined by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). On January 18, 2021, Missouri will also begin allowing vaccinations to people in 1B Tier 2.
Although these tiers are open for vaccination, vaccine supply in Missouri will continue to be limited and inconsistent until more vaccine becomes available nationwide. Missouri has published a list of approved vaccinators. Keep in mind, not all of the approved vaccinators listed will have vaccine available.
If you fit in one of the categories currently open for vaccination, check the list for a vaccination site near you. Some vaccinators may accept pre-registration on a waiting list, but this will vary by vaccinator.
COVID vaccinations in Missouri will be provided at no cost to anyone who wants a vaccination. Vaccinators may charge an administration fee to Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance.
To learn more about the COVID vaccination effort in Missouri, visit MOStopsCOVID.org.
It will be very complicated to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people in stages based on risk criteria provided by scientific oversight agencies. Plans will require accurate estimates of the dates and quantities of vaccine available, clinic scheduling, training, public information campaigns, and careful monitoring of the process and outcome.
Special efforts will be necessary to reach populations at highest risk and to develop trust with people who have concerns about vaccine safety. The process must be transparent and fully grounded in science.
The US has a long history of assuring vaccines are safe through the use of specific, detailed, and time-tested protocols. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine. Before any new vaccine is brought to market, it has been given to thousands of people under stringent monitoring for safety. Sometimes, very rare side effects are recognized only after the vaccine is licensed because they occur so infrequently, but such side effects are very rare and must be weighed against the good the vaccine will do.
Don't lean on herd immunity
Herd immunity is achieved when a virus stops circulating because a large segment of the population has already been infected or has been vaccinated against the virus. Since 9 in 10
Missourians are still at risk for getting COVID, this strategy to just let millions more people get sick instead of focusing on proven infection control methods would lead to many more deaths. It would put all of us at risk.
A herd immunity strategy was attempted in Sweden, only to be quickly ended when COVID-19 deaths sharply increased.