JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Mike Parson addressed the COVID-19 vaccine distribution throughout the state this morning and called out Dr. Alex Garza for “misleading the people of St. Louis”.
“Dr. Garza has made statements that have been absolutely false. He has lived with fear and panic rather than a sense of balance and completely ignores the diverse populations of our state and our local communities across this state,” Parson said.
The governor tried to set the record straight about the amount of vaccine the St. Louis region is receiving.
“Many want the public to believe that 15,600 doses is all the St. Louis region received last week, but that is totally false,” he said.
Parson explained that is what the region received weekly through the high throughput partnership alone. The governor said that is approximately 37% of the doses allocated to the program last week. He then said that allocation is proportionate to the St. Louis region’s population.
The governor said if you start from day one when vaccines started, the St. Louis region has received their 37%, especially when you count the elderly and the nursing homes involved.
Parson then explained that the high throughput program doesn’t include numerous other doses that other health care systems in the region received.
Missouri’s high throughput program is providing 53% of the state’s allotment to the high throughput hospital providers. In Region C, which is the St. Louis region, the St. Louis County Health Department is included in the program.
The governor said in the St. Louis area, the high throughput providers were chosen because those 65 and older and those at high risk are more likely to have established connections with the hospitals and the hospitals have the infrastructure in place to administer in a timely manner.
Parson said it did come to the state’s attention that the St. Louis County Health Department had not received its share of the Region C allocation that was originally agreed upon with the high throughput partnership.
He said there are about 50,000 first and second doses in the St. Louis area that have not been reported as administered.
Parson said St. Louis County Health Department will start receiving 3,000 initial vaccine doses starting next week and will continue receiving steady shipments in the weeks following.
The state says 81% of vaccines received by Missouri providers have been reported as administered. That number doesn’t include those federal pharmacy partnerships.
Garza was unavailable for an interview Thursday but issued the following statement:
The most important thing right now is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly, safely and equitably as possible. We are confident in the way we estimate the number of doses received by Region C, and our goal has always been to ensure fair and equitable distribution of vaccine with all of our partners. We will continue to work with the State of Missouri and our regional partners as we have throughout the pandemic, to care for our community and increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Alex Garza
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