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Parson thanks grocery workers while touring Hy-Vee coronavirus vaccine site

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Standing amid the Hy-Vee produce section Monday, Gov. Mike Parson praised grocery store workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Parson and state Rep. Dan Shaul presented a House proclamation “extending our most hearty congratulations to all supermarket employees.” 

“I can’t tell you how difficult the last 11 months have been for me as a governor, but also for you that had to come to work every day, do your job, and take care of the rest of the people of this state,” Parson said. “A proclamation sure doesn’t seem like enough to say thanks, but I can tell you … one, as a governor, and two, as an everyday person, I appreciate everything you’ve done for the people of this state during this time.” 

State Rep. Dan Shaul presents a proclomation thanking grocery store workers for their service during National Supermarket Employee Day. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/KAITLYN SCHALLHORN)

Feb. 22 has been dubbed the inaugural National Supermarket Employee Day to recognize the work employees have done, particularly during the pandemic. According to the governor, Missouri employs about 100,000 grocery store workers. 

“Today, we’re to stop and pause a moment to recognize all the grocery workers — not only in this store, not only in Jefferson City, not only in the state of Missouri, but throughout the United States that have worked tirelessly for the last year making sure our customers, our friends, our neighbors have the food and resources to live a life during this pandemic and continue forward,” Shaul, who is also the state director for the Missouri Grocers Association, said. “It’s because of you that we’re able to get through this.” 

Gov. Mike Parson tours Hy-Vee’s pharmacy and COVID-19 vaccination efforts. (THE MISSOURI TIMES/KAITLYN SCHALLHORN)

While at the store, Parson toured its COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Representatives from the store said they expected to receive shipments of the vaccine at the Jefferson City location and five other stores in Missouri in partnership with the federal government this week. Hy-Vee is prioritizing vaccinating individuals who are at least 65 years old and has launched an online sign-up form as appointments are required. 

Hy-Vee is one of nearly two dozen pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. In Missouri, only Health Mart and Walmart pharmacies are participating in the program along with Hy-Vee so far.

Hy-Vee pharmacies in the following Missouri towns received initial doses of the vaccine Monday, a spokesperson said:

  • Bethany
  • Albany
  • Trenton
  • Raytown
  • Blue Springs
  • Kirksville
  • Chillicothe
  • Gladstone
  • St. Joseph
  • Liberty
  • Osage Beach
  • Springfield
  • Maryville
  • Belton
  • Jefferson City
  • Lee’s Summit (multiple locations)
  • Columbia (multiple locations)
  • Independence (multiple locations)
  • Kansas City (multiple locations)

More than 1 million vaccines have been administered in Missouri as of Monday afternoon. More than 326,00 people, about 5.3 percent of the population, have received both doses of the vaccine.

This story has been updated to include the list of Hy-Vee pharmacies that received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It was originally published on Feb. 22.