JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says the state will begin the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan on March 15. 

Speaking during a live briefing Thursday afternoon, Parson said people in Phase 1B - Tier 3 of the state's plan will be eligible for the vaccine on  March 15. 

That tier includes about 550,000 people, Parson's office says. The tier is made up of K-12 school employees, child care providers, grocery store employees, workers in energy, food, agriculture, other critical infrastructure employees and others. 

Parson says moving into the next phase will allow providers to continue vaccinating Missourians who want the COVID-19 vaccine without delays from people who are already eligible but who are not interested in getting vaccinated. 

"While supply is still limited, we are expecting slow and steady increases, and activating Tier 3 on March 15 will allow us to continue making progress as supply expands," Parson says. "If vaccine supply continues to increase, and if we continue to make the progress we’ve been seeing, we believe that we will be ready to activate Phase 2 within 45 days of March 15."

Parson says in the meantime, vaccine providers are asked to work in their communities to plan ahead for the March 15 expansion. 

The governor says as of Thursday, about 12% of Missourians have received at least one dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccines are two-dose inoculations, and Parson says more than 350,000 Missouri residents have gotten both shots. 

For more information on when, where and how to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Missouri, visit covidvaccine.mo.gov.

Missouri's vaccine availability schedule is as follows: 

  • Phase 1A
    • Hospitals, long-term care facilities and residents, including Department of Mental Health operated facilities.

    • Home health, hospice, dialysis centers, urgent care

    • Vaccinator staff and those administering COVID testing

    • Congregate community health care settings staff and residents, including DMH contracted settings and adult day cares

    • High-risk non-congregate health care, including clinics, physicians, and home care providers.

    • All remaining patient-facing healthcare providers, including but not limited to health care workers in emergency shelters, dental offices, school nurses, pharmacies, public health clinics, mental/behavioral health providers, and correctional settings

  • Phase 1B - Tier 1
    • Public health administrators and staff

    • Law enforcement

    • Fire services

    • Corrections

    • Emergency management

    • Public works

    • Emergency services

  • Phase 1B – Tier 2
    • Anyone 65 and older
    • Any adults with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI >40), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, or individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome
  • Phase 1B – Tier 3

    • Education

    • Childcare

    • Communications infrastructure

    • Dams sector

    • Energy sector

    • Food and agriculture sector 1

    • Government

    • Information technology

    • Nuclear reactor sector

    • Transportation systems

    • Water and wastewater systems

  • Phase 2

    • Chemical sector

    • Commercial facilities sector

    • Critical manufacturing sector

    • Defense industrial base sector

    • Financial services sector

    • Food and agriculture sector 2

    • Government

    • Higher education

    • Disproportionately affected

    • Homeless

  • Phase 3 - All Missouri residents