Jan 21, 2021 7:44 PM

Northwest Missouri still waiting on COVID-19 vaccine

Posted Jan 21, 2021 7:44 PM

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Northwest Missouri awaits word on when it might receive COVID-19 vaccine for the next group of residents eligible to be vaccinated.

Health care workers and nursing home residents have been getting shots. Now, the state has announced it is coordinating mass vaccinations for the next group.

Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner Lee Sawyer says those in Phase 1B will be allowed to receive their vaccinations soon.

“You just don’t know what the timeline on that is, that effort. We could get child care and we could get some of these other folks vaccinated,” Sawyer tells the KFEQ Hotline. “Obviously, the sooner we can, the better, but it’s no small endeavor is the thing.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services outlines Phase 1B and its three tiers.

Phase 1B – Tier 1 includes those who respond in times of emergency. Phase 1B – Tier 2 includes high-risk individuals, such as those 65 and older as well as any adults with serious illnesses such as cancer. Phase 1B – Tier 3 includes those in occupations which keep society operating, such as teachers and child care workers.

Missouri plans mass vaccinations in each of the state’s nine Highway Patrol regions. The National Guard will assist the Department of Health and Senior Services in administering the vaccinations.

Sawyer says health officials have indicated it will take as many as 50,000 Buchanan County residents to get vaccinated for the county to be considered at herd immunity against the coronavirus.

“It’s a lot. Again, access to the vaccine is the number one,” Sawyer says. “It sure sounds like here in the very near future we’re going to have a good plan, a good process to get people through once we make sure and get that.”