Missouri plans to set up mass COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state by the end of the month, Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday.
Parson said he was activating the Missouri National Guard to help speed up the process. Nine vaccination teams will each be able to administer 2,500 doses per day, Parson said. He said “targeted” vaccination teams would also be sent to St. Louis and Kansas City “to work with the clergies to assist in the most vulnerable populations.”
Specific dates and locations were not announced.
Missouri has received 572,125 doses and administered 244,476, with just under 50,000 having received the two doses necessary for full immunity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Parson said at least 68 vaccinators were manually reporting data, creating “a backlog of paperwork” and making the number of vaccine doses administered appear much smaller than it actually is. He said the National Guard will help providers catch up on their reporting.
Dr. Alex Garza, head of the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force, said most hospital workers with direct exposure to patients have been vaccinated, and hospital systems are moving on to vaccinate healthcare workers in the community, including EMS workers and school nurses.
St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson said the city's health department has not received any vaccine and has not yet received a firm date on when it may arrive. City officials asked for 5,000 doses for emergency responders, she said.
Dr. Randall Williams, director of Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services, said about 140,000 doses of Moderna vaccine have been distributed to long-term health care facilities, but only 26,000 of those doses have been reported as administered by CVS and Walgreens, two companies providing vaccinations.
“That’s a universe right there of about 120,000 that we don’t control the reporting of,” Williams said.
This week, the state began making vaccines available to those at increased risk of severe illness, including people age 65 and older and any adults with certain health conditions.
The Associated Press contributed information for this article.