ST. LOUIS – The largest population of Missourians became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine today. Phase 1B-Tier 1 includes high-risk individuals and residents age 65 and older.
Dr. Alex Garza, incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, explained there are now 3.2 million Missourians eligible for the vaccine between Phase 1A, Phase 1B- Tier 1, and Phase 1B-Tier 2. However, Missouri has only received 495,000 doses so far.
Dr. Garza said the local health care systems and public health departments collectively have the goal to quickly and efficiently vaccinate residents.
They’ve also been working together to organize the best way to vaccinate all the populations.
One of many sites approved to administer COVID vaccinations in Missouri is the Dellwood Pharmacy on West Florissant Ave.
Pharmacist Rebecca Mawuenyega said interest in the vaccine is even higher than she expected. She said some patients who turned down flu shots are asking about COVID vaccinations.
“They’re coming in wanting to know if we have the vaccine in stock,” she said.
Mawuenyega said the pharmacy is working with community leaders on the possibility of setting up a large vaccination site but for now the pharmacy is in a holding pattern until it receives vaccine.
“It’s all based on supply,” she said.
Dr. Garza cleared up some of the confusion about where people should be turning for the vaccine.
Phase 1A: The hospital systems took care of vaccinating most of this population because it included frontline health care workers. It also included school nurses and groups that could be easily identified. Health care systems will also vaccinate affiliated groups and their office staff.
Other patient-facing health care workers are being asked to register through their county’s public health website. Health care systems will also vaccinate affiliated groups and their office staff.
Phase 1B- Tier 1: This group included law enforcement, public service workers, social service workers, and others. It would be challenging to organize these groups through the health care system because they didn’t know who they all are. The public health department is responsible for organizing this population.
Phase 1B Tier 2: This is a large population including high-risk individuals and those age 65 and up. Most of these people have a primary care physician that is affiliated with a health care system. This group is being asked to register through that health care system.
If you aren’t affiliated with a health care system, then members of Phase 1B- Tier 2 can register for the vaccine through their local health department.
Note: No matter if you register through public health or through the health care system, your vaccine may be administered by either group. They are working together to make sure neither group gets overwhelmed.
We have a lists of different county health department sign ups and health system information here.
Register to get a vaccine through your local health department or regional health system. The local healthcare providers offering appointments for COVID-19 vaccine are listed below:
Missouri Health Departments
- St. Louis City
- St. Louis County
- St. Charles County
- Franklin County
- Jefferson County
- Lincoln County
- Warren County