The State of Missouri, Pettis County Health Center, and Johnson County Community Health Services have all released some information on distribution of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that both counties have received.

In the Pettis County COVID-19 Task Force Briefing, Pettis County Health Center takes a cautiously optimistic tone that the vaccine is "an important step toward ending the pandemic and the changes that the pandemic has caused for our community."

The release from Johnson County Community Health Services includes the State of Missouri distribution:

Phase 1-A: Healthcare Workers and long-term care facilities.

Phase 1-B: Emergency response and essential workers.

Phase 2: Additional Phase-1 populations if not vaccinated in Phase 1, high risk populations and potentially all Missouri residents (as availability increases).

Phase 3: All Missouri residents – expected in spring or early summer and is dependent on vaccine availability.

The health bodies of both Pettis and Johnson Counties don't have a lot of specific details on how the vaccine will be distributed throughout the counties. But both ask for patience and will inforrm the communities when more information becomes available.

The Pettis County Health Center says they're working with both Katy Trail Community Health and Bothwell Regional Health Center on the County's distribution plan. While Johnson County Community Health Services says they're working with "local partners for storage and county-wide distribution plans."

The JCCHS release also contains some helpful information about the COVID-19 vaccine put together by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services:

  • If you have already had COVID-19 you should still get the vaccine. You shouldn't get it until you've met the criteria to discontinue isolation.
  • Generally the vaccine is recommended for pregnant women. However, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctor or OB prior to receiving the vaccination. And a physician's order could be required to receive the vaccination.
  • The Pfizer vaccine is not recommended for persons under 16.
  • The Pfizer vaccine  should be spaced out 14 days from the flu vaccine.
  • The vaccine requires two doses. The second dose 21 days after the first. If you don't get the second dose in 21 days, you should still get the second dose as soon as possible.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free or low-cost. Doses provided by the federal government to Missourians are provided at no cost. However, places offering the vaccine may offer an administration fee for giving someone the shot, which most insurance companies will cover. No Missouri residents can be denied the vaccine if they do not have insurance or cannot afford the administration fee.

Finally, both Pettis and Johnson Counties health officials stress that even after vaccine distribution begins everyone will still need to wear face coverings, observe physical distancing and wash their hands frequently to continue to slow the spread of the virus.

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