JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Governor Mike Parson announced that all COVID-19 mass vaccination events in partnership with the Missouri National Guard, Department of Health and Senior Services, and State Emergency Management Agency scheduled for February 15-19, 2021, are being canceled in the interest of safety due to extreme winter weather.
“Missouri is experiencing severe winter weather that makes driving dangerous and threatens the health and safety of anyone exposed to the cold. These conditions will also likely delay some vaccine shipments,” Governor Parson said. “We want to protect the safety of everyone involved in the mass vaccination events, from the patients being vaccinated to the volunteers who generously support these events.”
The state is making every effort to reschedule these events, but individuals who were registered are encouraged to reach out to other vaccinators in their region in the interim. Missourians scheduled to receive a vaccine this week through other providers should check with their vaccinator for any potential schedule changes.
Cancellation of this week’s mass vaccination events will not change weekly regional vaccine allocations.
To ensure that no vaccine doses are endangered, arriving vaccine shipments for this week’s events will remain in each of the nine Missouri State Highway Patrol regions across the state and redistributed to community hospitals with emergency generators. Community hospitals may administer the vaccine in compliance with Missouri’s current activated tiers to eligible local health care workers, first responders, and high-risk residents.
This week, the mass vaccination program was also scheduled to administer second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. These events are being postponed, but doses will be retained in the region. Plans are being made to administer these doses as promptly as possible.
The slight delay will not affect the efficacy of the booster dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second dose may be administered as late as six weeks after the first dose.
The Missouri National Guard’s targeted vaccination teams working to vaccinate vulnerable at-risk citizens in St. Louis and Kansas City will focus this week on locations that do not require citizens to travel to be vaccinated, including senior apartments, retirement centers, and similar locations.
“We are extremely appreciative of all the hard work, sacrifices, and rapid adjustments that are being made by our state and local partners to quickly get the vaccine into arms across our state,” Governor Parson said.