Missouri has submitted its plan for administering the impending COVID vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state will receive feedback from the CDC on the 111-page plan by October 26.
State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams tells Capitol reporters that the plan’s hallmark is collaboration and coordination. “It represents more than 100 state employees, a whole government approach, working with FQHC’s, working with hospitals, working with nursing homes, working with partners in the state and our federal partners,” Dr. Williams says.
FQHC’s are federally qualified health centers.
Missouri’s plan is based upon CDC’s anticipation of a phased availability of vaccines within the state.
Dr. Williams says Missouri will collaborate with health care systems and pharmacy partners to vaccinate long-term care facility staff and other healthcare workers.
“Our north star is to get this vaccine to those families, for their loved ones to get it, and at the same time to prevent community transmission so we can reduce the stress on our health care system,” he says.
Dr. Williams spoke to Capitol reporters at a Jefferson City press conference on Wednesday afternoon, where he was joined by Governor Mike Parson.
The plan says the highest risk population for mortality from COVID is nursing home residents, with 75 percent of Missouri’s COVID deaths happening in these facilities.
Missouri has about 425,000 health care workers. Dr. Williams says that as vaccine availability expands, efforts will be aimed at residents most at risk, the elderly, and those with certain medical conditions.
The Missouri Hospital Association is praising the plan. They have been a partner in the vaccine planning effort.
“Missouri’s hospitals will be actively engaged in advocating for vaccination and administering the vaccine in the communities they serve,” Missouri Hospital Association President Herb Kuhn says, in a written statement.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) says the state has had 150,554 COVID cases this year, along with 2,442 deaths.
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