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Missouri National Guard to assist mass vaccination effort 

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri National Guard is teaming with other state partners to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites across Missouri. 

“We’re so very proud to be a small part of this whole-government effort to provide COVID-19 vaccines to our fellow Missourians,” said Major General Levon Cumpton of the Missouri National Guard. “We’re absolutely honored to join our officials as they complete incredibly important work for all Missouri citizens.”

According to Gov. Mike Parson, mass vaccination teams consisting of 30 members each will manage the nine State Highway Patrol regions across the state. Each team is to be equipped to administer as many as 2,500 doses per day. The National Guard has begun securing these sites and aims to begin work by the end of the month, Cumpton said.

Additionally, four-person target vaccination teams will be deployed to Kansas City and St. Louis to work with local clergy. Administrative teams will also be deployed to work through data backlogs. 

Parson praised the work of Cumpton and the National Guard in response to the pandemic over the last ten months. 

“Missouri has a plan, and these vaccination sites will provide additional vaccines as quickly as our supply will allow,” Parson said. “I want to thank the Missouri National Guard for once again answering the call to help Missourians in this time of need. Since the start of COVID-19, the National Guard has assisted with food distribution, constructing an alternative care site, and much more, and I have no doubt that they will get the job done again.”

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams said he had been in contact with the Biden Administration, discussing the state’s vaccine distribution plan as well as the federal rollout system. Williams said discussions with the new administration are ongoing. 

Missouri began Phase 1B of its vaccination plan last week, opening the vaccine to first responders and those at high risk, including Missourians over the age of 65. While Parson belongs to that group, he said he had elected to wait on the vaccine, noting that he and his wife had contracted the virus in September. 

“I will take the vaccine, let me just say that,” Parson said. “I just think right now there are people out there in that range that are more a priority than me… I think in a month or two we’re going to see more vaccines available and it will be a more appropriate time for me and the first lady at that point.”

More than 265,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Missouri as of Wednesday, according to Parson.