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TROY, Mo. – Mass COVID-19 vaccinations will be given at nine different sites around Missouri Friday, including one not far from St. Louis. There is one mass vaccination site in each region of the state.

The closest site to St. Louis is at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Troy.

Governor Mike Parson has mobilized the National Guard to help after Missouri came under criticism for how many doses it has administered. Besides Troy, mass vaccinations are planned for Sedalia, Moberly, Joplin, Cape Girardeau, West Plains, Savannah, St. Robert and Mexico.

Most of the locations require Missourians to pre-register and have an appointment. Mexico is the only location where residents don’t have to pre-register and have an appointment, but the vaccine will still be given to people in one of the tiers that are eligible for vaccination.

State officials hope to vaccinate 2,000 to 2,500 people at each location.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that Missouri had the lowest rate of people who had received a first dose of the vaccine, but Parson disputes that report and says the state is doing better.

More than 326,000 Missourians have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That is a little more than five percent of the state’s population. However, we’ve learned that the state has only administered half of the vaccine doses that it has been given.

“But at the end of the day, all the vaccine coming into our state, is getting deployed out in a week to health care agencies across this state,” Parson said. “If people are sitting on doses in the healthcare system, we’re going to make public if that is happening. We know that in some areas they have sat on doses and we’re not going to let that happen.”

St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page announced Wednesday that the first mass vaccination site in St. Louis County will be at the Florissant Valley campus of St. Louis Community College. Shots will not be given there today as it is not yet ready.