The next tier of Missouri’s coronavirus vaccination plan will be activated on March 15. That means all teachers, faculty, and staff in public, private, and nonprofit pre K-12 will become eligible. So will state licensed childcare center workers, some food production employees, as well as grocery and convenience stores workers.

Missouri is currently vaccinating residents in Phase 1A, Phase 1B – Tier 1, Phase 1B – Tier 2.

During a press briefing today, Gov. Mike Parson says the next group to become eligible, Phase 1B – Tier 3, allows 550,000 additional Missourians to get vaccinated.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on February 4, 2021 (file photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

“Tier 3 represents another very important part of our society,” says Parson. “They are the workers in many of the industries we depend on each day to keep our day-to-day lives operating normally.”

Earlier this month, Missouri’s 2017-2021 Teachers of the Year sent a letter to state Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams asking him to prioritize educators and support staff for immediate coronavirus vaccinations. Missouri’s K-12 schools have been operating for months with at least partial in-person education.

The following is a statement from the Chair of Missouri’s Education Roundtable, Dr. Doug Hayter:

“The Education Roundtable, representing eight major education organizations in Missouri, appreciates Governor Parson’s announcement allowing educators to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. Getting educators vaccinated as soon as possible is an important step toward keeping educators in the classroom and providing our students with in-person instruction.”

Missouri’s Education Roundtable is made up of the American Federation of Teachers (Missouri), the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, the Missouri National Education Association, the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, the Missouri School Boards’ Association, the Missouri State Teachers Association, and the Missouri PTA.

Parson says vaccine supply remains limited, but he expects slow and steady increases.

“We heard news this week that the pharmaceutical companies are increasing their production,” says Parson. “The federal government is planning to increase our allotment and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be approved at any time.”

The governor says he expects that Missouri will be able to order vaccine from Johnson & Johnson by early next week.

He says if supply continues to improve, Parson says he thinks Phase 2 of Missouri’s vaccination plan will begin mid-April.

A press release today from Parson’s office says the state also continues to move forward with regional mass vaccination events. There have been 68 completed across Missouri, and more than 66,500 Missourians have received an initial vaccine dose at one of these events.

The release says targeted teams in St. Louis and Kansas City have completed 24 vaccine clinics with more planned in the coming days and weeks. These teams serve vulnerable populations in communities with limited access to health care.

For more information about the next tier of eligible Missourians, click here.

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