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Parson, first lady receive coronavirus vaccine

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson and first lady Teresa Parson have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s chief executive told reporters Thursday. 

“I have taken my first vaccine. I took it actually last week, me and the first lady did, here in Cole County,” Parson said. “We put ourselves on a list like everyone else, we got called up, went down to the center, and I must say now going through it personally, they did an outstanding job.”

“As far as me and the first lady went, we were fine. It was Pfizer that we used, and we had no effects whatsoever,” he added. “A little bit of a sore arm, but we can tough that.”

Parson praised the work of vaccinators and said the environment where the shot was administered was cheerful, as were the other patients receiving their doses. 

Missouri is currently in the second tier of Phase 1B of its vaccination plan, which began last month. The latest tier opened the vaccine to high-risk individuals including Missourians over the age of 65 and those with preexisting conditions, making the Parsons eligible

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams said earlier this month the third tier was expected to open this spring. 

Parson previously said he was waiting for the vaccine to be more widely available. He also noted he and his wife had already faced a bout of coronavirus last year.

Officials rerouted vaccines meant to be distributed at mass vaccination events this week, sending them to community hospitals as the events were canceled in the face of substantial winter storms. Parson said these events would be rescheduled and vaccines would not go to waste.

As of Thursday evening, more than 273,300 Missourians had been fully inoculated. Additionally, 666,430 people have taken their first dose, amounting to just under 11 percent of the state’s population. 

Some Missouri lawmakers came under fire earlier this year for receiving vaccines meant for individuals who fit into the appropriate tiers.