COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday said the homeless, minorities, restaurant workers and other vulnerable communities will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines beginning March 29, and the vaccine will be opened up to everyone soon after.
Any adult in Missouri who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to get one beginning April 9, Parson said.
The governor said he expects a large influx of vaccines to Missouri beginning in April, and his administration wants to open up eligibility to ensure there are enough interested people ready to be vaccinated.
“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," Parson said in a statement.
People covered by the state's second phase of the vaccine rollout also include workers at casinos, stores, hotels, campgrounds, amusement parks, stadiums and arenas, shopping malls and other stores. That phase begins March 29.
Higher education employees and all government workers also will be eligible then.
Meanwhile, a new effort has begun in St. Louis County to help homebound residents and people with disabilities get COVID-19 vaccinations.
The county health department is working with 15 fire and emergency management services districts to deliver vaccine to homes and independent living facilities, St. Louis Public Radio reported.
"Some homebound residents can rely on family members or loved ones to drive them to schedule appointments, but not everyone can immediately respond when a vaccine becomes available,” said Dawn Chapman, a member of the county’s disability commission who also is helping schedule vaccine appointments.
Statewide in Missouri, the seven-day average of new cases is down 5.9% compared with the previous seven days, according to data from the state health department website on Friday. Overall, the state has reported 485,009 confirmed cases and 8,364 deaths since the onset of the virus.
The Kansas City region is seeing a slight uptick in the rolling average for new coronavirus cases. The region, which includes Kansas City and its suburbs in both Missouri and Kansas, reported 160 new cases Wednesday.
The seven-day average for new cases was 128. A week ago, the seven-day average for the Kansas City region was 102, according to data compiled by The Kansas City Star.