KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – As pharmaceutical companies continue to develop vaccines for COVID-19, states begin planning how officials will distribute the doses.

Dr. Ginny Boos, Director of Infection Prevention with St. Luke’s Health System said multiple companies showing promising results is key to getting ahead of the pandemic.

“You can well imagine the number of people that are going to need to be vaccinated over the next few months. Relying on just one or two companies to be able to maintain that supply is asking a lot,” Boos said.

The State of Missouri released its COVID-19 vaccination plan. It outlines who will have access to vaccines first when they become available.

Healthcare workers, paid and unpaid, will have first priority.

The second group, Phase 1B, includes essential workers who cannot work from home or maintain social distance on the job. First responders, food packaging and distribution employees and teachers are in this category. Missouri also includes adults 65 years of age or older in this group.

There are approximately 3.3. million people who fit the criteria to be in the priority groups for the vaccine.

The state identified three possible distribution channels. It will consider offering it through physician’s offices, drive-thru vaccination sites and large, socially-distant events in open gymnasiums.

Boos said distribution is a complicated process and planning details will take time.

“There is so much happening right now. The fact that we have this many companies that are coming forward with really promising vaccines, I think that it’s a bit premature to figure out how it will end up with the end user,” she said.

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