Missouri police, more health staff now eligible for vaccine

SUMMER BALLENTINE
Associated Press
FILE - Covid-19 vaccine distribution Dec. 15, 2020, at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital, in Jefferson City. The state of Missouri continues to see the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines according to the state's vaccination plan.

COLUMBIA — Missouri on Thursday opened up coronavirus vaccines to police, firefighters and health care administrators as the state prepares for an influx of vaccines next week. 

The latest eligible group includes public safety workers and remaining health care workers who don't interact with patients and weren't previously able to get the vaccine. 

Missouri currently does not have enough of a supply to vaccinate everyone in the newly eligible group. Officials in Gov. Mike Parson's administration said the goal is to make sure people are ready to be vaccinated as soon as more vaccines are available. 

Parson's administration said additional vaccinations will be possible because the federal government plans to increase supplies to Missouri next week. 

The state on Monday will again expand who is eligible for vaccinations, opening up vaccines to people age 65 and older and those with illnesses that put them at higher risk of getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Those conditions include cancer, intellectual or developmental disabilities, pregnancy, kidney disease, diabetes and heart conditions. 

Anyone previously eligible for a vaccine still will be able to get one as supplies allow.