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Missouri and Kansas finalize plans for distribution of vaccine

The newly approved COVID-19 vaccine, which many are now calling the “Trump Vaccine,” has arrived in Missouri and Kansas.

“Today is an exciting day for Missouri as we have received the first of many shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said on Monday. “We have been preparing for many months and will soon begin administering vaccines according to our COVID-19 vaccine plan. We appreciate the tireless work of our scientists, health-care workers, state and private partners, and everyone who has helped get us to this point. It is truly remarkable how far we’ve come since the start of this pandemic, and we are very encouraged to now have a verifiably safe and effective vaccine.”

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, signed off on the standing order for the distribution of the vaccine on Monday. Williams said his team had spent the weekend working with members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to finalize distribution plans.

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“Their recommendations are very comprehensive and carefully considered and are reflected in the statewide order issued today by DHSS,” he said. “We encourage Missourians to take time to learn about the vaccine, get their questions answered and consider vaccination to help protect themselves and their loved ones. Together, we can strengthen our communities against this virus.”

One shipment went to Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, the facility confirmed on social media. Shipments of the vaccine are to be distributed to Missouri’s 21 vaccination sites. As hospitals receive their shipments, the first part of the state’s vaccination plan will begin. Around 50,000 doses were included in the first shipment. Missouri is also expected to receive more than 100,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine next week.

In Kansas, the vaccine is beginning to be administered in select locations.

One of Kansas’ largest healthcare systems posted on Facebook Monday that five of its health care workers in Wichita had received the vaccine. Other healthcare workers in the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro had also received the vaccine.

The news comes as the state dashboard reported Kansas saw 4,724 new cases, 95 new hospitalizations and 37 new deaths related to COVID-19. That included deaths by other causes but which had Covid in the body.

In both Missouri and Kansas, the vaccine will be distributed to schools and “critical businesses” at the same time, with the final phase of distribution opening access to the general public.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice