The administration of COVID-19 vaccines has started across the United States and in Missouri. However, due to limited supplies, vaccinations will be done in phases.
For the vaccinations to be maximally effective, individuals need to receive two doses of the vaccine 3-4 weeks apart. The doses of the Pfizer vaccine are administered three weeks apart, while the Moderna vaccine has a four week gap in between doses. Vaccine providers will let individuals know what type of vaccine they are getting and should give individuals an appointment to receive their second dose when the first dose is administered.
It is also important that individuals continue to adhere to social distancing protocols even after receiving both doses of the vaccine since the science is not yet clear on the question of whether or not vaccinated individuals can still asymptomatically pass the virus on to others.
There is no cost to Missouri residents to receive the vaccine. Uninsured individuals also cannot be denied access to the vaccine.
The first priority for COVID-19 vaccines are front-line health care workers and nursing home residents. The state will coordinate with pharmacies to provide vaccinations to nursing home residents. The vaccinations should occur at the nursing homes. It may take up to three months for both doses to be administered to every nursing home resident statewide. There will be no charge to nursing homes to receive the vaccine.
In the next phases, the vaccine will be administered to those 75 and older and frontline essential workers. The next expansion of eligibility will include those aged 65-74, people 18-64 with underlying medical conditions that face an increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19, and other essential workers. Once the supply of vaccines is sufficient, then eligibility will expand to the general public.
Those in the higher risk groups eligible for earlier vaccine access should contact their health care provider to for more information on when the vaccine will be available.
Once the vaccine is available for the general public, it is expected that the vaccine will be available at pharmacies as well as at doctor’s offices.
For more information about the Missouri vaccination plan and frequently asked questions, please visit: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov
For questions about how the vaccination program may affect your relative’s nursing home care, or to develop a plan to help pay for nursing home care, please call Martha C. Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.