COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration Continue According to Missouri’s Vaccination Plan

State Continues Working to Increase Health Care System Capacity

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – During today’s briefing at the state Capitol, Governor Mike Parson provided an update on the initial distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We have been preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine for many months now, and everything has gone according to our state vaccine plan,” Governor Parson said. “Hospital administrators, health care workers, and Missourians from across the state have expressed how thankful they are that a vaccine is here and see these first shipments as a sign of hope for the future.”

Missouri’s 21 initial vaccination sites have received almost all 51,675 doses of the first Pfizer vaccine shipment. The state expects to receive another significant shipment to additional vaccinations sites next week. Pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the state could also receive its first shipment of 105,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week. 

The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccines were received Monday, and vaccinations began shortly after delivery. Nearly 1,000 frontline health care workers have already received vaccinations. This number will exponentially increase over the coming days and weeks as more vaccine shipments arrive. 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are scientifically proven to be safe and effective. All traditional standards were followed, and both vaccines have shown a 95 percent efficacy rate. 

“The delivery of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline caregivers is a significant milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial shipment was distributed rapidly, and health care workers began receiving vaccinations Monday,” said Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO Herb Kuhn. “As additional vaccines come on line and shipments are received, these new tools will help protect a growing number of the state’s health care professionals and the at-risk populations they serve. We are at the beginning of a massive vaccination effort. However, this week’s speed and efficiency in delivery and administration is very promising.”

Governor Parson also provided an update on the state’s partnership with leading health care performance improvement company Vizient during today’s briefing. 

“In addition to the vaccine arrival, we are also making progress with expanding our health care system capacity. Through our partnership with Vizient, we will soon have an additional 117 hospital staff members on the ground, from ICU registered nurses to respiratory therapists,” Governor Parson said. 

Six Missouri health care systems are currently participating in the 12-week partnership, including SSM Health in St. Louis and Jefferson City, St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, MOSAIC Life Care, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, BJC Healthcare, and CoxHealth. At this time, 117 health care workers have been contracted:

  • 20 Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurses
  • 18 Medical-Surgical Registered Nurses
  • 13 Telemetry Registered Nurses
  • 50 Respiratory Therapists
  • 16 Certified Nurses Aids or Patient Care Technicians

Another 42 offers are pending with staffing agencies and contract employees. The first group of staff will start on Monday, December 21. 

All Missourians can help combat COVID-19 and support the state’s health care system by social distancing, wearing a mask, minimizing travel, avoiding large gatherings, and limiting interactions to 15 minutes. These behaviors are especially important over the holiday season. 

“Although we have had some great news in Missouri this week, the fight is not over. Prevention will continue to be critically important, especially over the holidays,” Governor Parson said. “We must continue to be responsible, change our behavior, and take precautions to slow the spread. This, along with the vaccine, is how we will overcome COVID-19.”

For more information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and answers to common questions, please visit

Missouri State Parks announces 2021 round for outdoor recreation grants

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 16, 2020 – Missouri State Parks announces the opening of the 2021 round for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Recreational Trails Program grants.

LWCF grants are available to cities, counties, public school districts and public universities for outdoor recreation projects.

Recreational Trails Program grants fund public trail-related projects and are available to local and state governments, public school districts, public universities, private schools, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and businesses.

“If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we all need access to quality outdoor recreation resources. These grant programs can help communities make access a reality,” said Mike Sutherland, director of Missouri State Parks.

For more information about either of these programs, to download the grant applications and to register for a grant application workshop, visit Deadline to apply is Feb. 17, 2021.

For more information on LWCF and Recreational Trails Program grants, contact the Grants Management Section with Missouri State Parks at

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Make Good Choices This New Year’s

Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, encourages everyone to make good decisions regarding their New Year’s celebration. This past year has been challenging enough. No one wants to start 2021 with a traffic crash or DWI arrest.

During last year’s 30-hour New Year’s holiday counting period, one person died and 140 people were injured in 323 traffic crashes. Thus, a person was killed or injured every 12.8 minutes during that time frame.

The 2021 New Year’s 78-hour holiday counting period is from 6 p.m. Thursday, December 31, 2020, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 3, 2021.

If your plans to welcome the new year include alcohol, remember that 2021 will be more difficult if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated or involved in a drinking-related traffic crash. If you’re driving, don’t include alcohol or illegal substances in your plan. Be the designated driver or make sure you have one. The roadway is no place for a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you cause a traffic crash, your New Year might begin with being arrested, facing legal fees and medical bills, and perhaps jail time! You could lose your license and will have to face your family and friends. If you kill or injure someone, you’ll pay the price for the rest of your life. Be smart! Designate a sober driver, utilize a ride share service or taxi.

If you plan to drive this New Year’s, remember to buckle up and make sure all your passengers do the same. Pay attention, obey all traffic laws, and when in doubt, yield the right-of-way. Be sure to use your turn signal to communicate your intentions. Remember: The posted speed limit reflects the roadway’s classification and is not a suggestion! There’s no reason to speed—Driving is a responsibility you should take seriously.

Before you travel, check road conditions by calling 1-888-275-6636. Allow extra time during inclement weather or consider staying home. Remember: Missouri law states if you’re using your windshield wipers, your headlights must be turned on.

Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back.”

Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ

Missouri Corn Scholarship Applications Now Available

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–-Marking 25 years of supporting youth in agriculture, the Missouri Corn Growers Association and Missouri Corn Merchandising Council are continuing the longstanding tradition of awarding seven deserving students $1,000 scholarships in 2021. Applications for the Missouri Corn Scholarship Program are now available for high school seniors and college juniors pursuing a degree in agronomy or related area of agriculture.
“Helping provide students with the tools needed to keep corn on the cutting edge of technology benefits all of us,” said Missouri Corn Scholarship Committee Chairman Matt Lambert of Laclede. “By investing in students who have an interest and passion in Missouri agriculture, we are continuing to develop the future of our industry. This is one step we can take to help push the next generation forward in their careers, whether they pursue policy, agribusiness, or return to the farm.”
The Missouri Corn Scholarship Program was established in 1997 by the Missouri Corn board of directors. Since its inception, the program has grown from two $750 scholarships to the current level of seven $1,000 awards. Nearly 175 students have benefitted from the program to date. “Being awarded the Missouri Corn Scholarship opened several doors of opportunity,” noted 2013 recipient Kaitlin Flick of Boonville. “The program provided much-needed financial assistance while I pursued my degree in plant sciences. It also led to internship opportunities and allowed me to be part of an organization that represents Missouri agriculture. Seven years later, I am an agronomist providing agronomic solutions to some of the best corn farmers in Missouri. To this day, I am grateful for the opportunity to receive a Missouri Corn Scholarship.”
Applications for the 2021 Missouri Corn Scholarships are available for download at under the Resources tab. Interested students can also call the Missouri Corn office at (800) 827-4181 to request an application. Students must submit an application form, official high school or college transcript, and at least one letter of recommendation to the Missouri Corn office by Feb. 12, 2021, to be eligible. High school senior applicants must be Missouri residents from a Missouri farm or rural area. They must plan to attend a two- or four-year Missouri college or university and major in agronomy or agriculture-related field. The scholarship funds will apply toward the freshman year of college expenses for high school winners. College applicants must also be Missouri residents from a Missouri farm or rural area, and currently a junior enrolled in a Missouri four-year college or university majoring in agronomy or agriculture-related field. The scholarship funds will apply toward the senior year of expenses for college winners.
The Missouri Corn Scholarship Committee will review the applications, and recipients will be notified by mail on or before April 15, 2021. To learn more about Missouri Corn programs, visit