Due to recent amendments to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act Declaration, more qualified professionals are able to serve as COVID-19 vaccinators. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implemented the amendment on March 22, overriding current Missouri orders for vaccine administration and authorized additional qualified professionals to prescribe, dispense and administer COVID-19 vaccines throughout both the state and country. 

The amendment also provides an update to training to distribute the vaccine. Missouri residents are now eligible to administer the vaccine include dentists, midwives, veterinarians and certain health care students. Missouri residents can visit the Public Health Emergency website to determine if they are eligible to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The amendment also provides what training requirements have been adjusted for potential vaccinators.

David Hall, director of university safety at Missouri State University, said MSU plans on using nursing and physician students as vaccinators instead of random students in the future.

“As a general rule, we really look for those that have had experience in a program with some type of injection,” Hall said. “It speeds up the training process for them; they've already had practical experience of getting to do that.” 

Hall said he is excited more vaccines are able to be distributed to those who want it, as it helps both the campus and Springfield community. He also said since more vaccines are being produced, MSU is in talks to expand vaccination sites from Magers Health and Wellness Center to Hammons Student Center.

Hall said the plan is to use student volunteers as vaccinators once numbers get large enough to open the Hammons Student Center venue.

Public Health Information Administrator of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department Kathryn Wall said it was an important change, as more vaccinators meant a “return to normalcy.”

“Every little bit helps,” Wall said. “In the last few weeks efforts that all different organizations have made to get vaccines has really helped to grow that vaccination rate. Everything we can do to make it that much easier for people to get vaccination we think will be a successful effort.”

Currently, Phase 1 of vaccination is in effect in Missouri. This phase has multiple tiers, including healthcare workers, law enforcement and elderly citizens.

As of March 29, Phase 2 goes into effect. During this tier, several types of employment including librarians and construction workers will be available to be vaccinated. This includes all MSU staff and faculty. 

MSU employees are able to register for a vaccine here.

On April 9, Phase 3 will go into effect in Missouri. This will allow all citizens to receive a vaccine. The State of Missouri COVID-19 website contains full details on each phase and tier.


Follow Tinsley Merriman on Twitter, @merrimantinsley

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