Covid Vaccine Timeline
By Maggie Money '22
The following information in this article is a summary of the detailed vaccine timeline and information from https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/
As we draw nearer to one full year of coronavirus here in Missouri, many people are looking forward to receiving their vaccine and taking a step toward returning to normalcy. However, there is a protocol and order that must be followed regarding who can get the vaccine and when. Firstly, readers should note that there are two different coronavirus vaccines. The Moderna vaccine is available to those 18 years or older and is administered in 2 shots 28 days apart. The Pfizer vaccine is permitted for 16 year-olds and older and it is distributed in two shots 21 days apart. In Missouri, the vaccine is currently only available to phases 1A, 1B tier 1, 1B tier 2, 1B tier 3, and phase 2. Phase 1A contains long-term care facility residents and staff, healthcare workers (patient facing), and EMS/EMT/paramedics. The next phase, 1B tier 1, first responders and emergency personnel. 1B tier 2 continues with anyone 65 years or older or anyone with a specific list of conditions that puts them at high risk such as diabetes or kidney disease. The next group, 1B tier 3, includes people that work to maintain the critical infrastructure of the state, like teachers and power plant workers. Phase 2 aims to accelerate economic recovery by providing the vaccine to those who were largely impacted by the lockdown like disproportionately affected populations and the homeless. Phase 3 includes all residents of Missouri, but this phase has not been enacted yet. If you happen to fall into one of these categories, there are three ways to get the vaccine: through work, the community, or a provider. The general plan is that the vaccine supply will increase throughout the first half of 2021 and vaccines should be available to all Missouri residents by the summer. A large benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine is that it is completely free to everyone, regardless of whether or not they have insurance. Once you receive the vaccine, you should still continue to practice social distancing and take COVID-19 precautions. For a full list of Frequently Asked Questions and a more detailed description of each tier, visit https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/. This website has a lot of great information and is very helpful to anyone interested in learning about the vaccine. Continue to stay safe and wear your masks and hopefully we can return to normal soon!