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JEFFERSON CITY—To help maximize vaccinations in the state’s newly announced expanded categories, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Missouri Hospital Association have partnered to connect business and health care professionals to information about the COVID-19 vaccination process. The goal of the partnership is to increase businesses’ awareness of eligibility in the expanding categories, educate the targeted individuals on vaccination venues for workers—individually and in larger scale vaccination clinic efforts—and accelerate the administration’s Show-Me Strong recovery plan.

“Full recovery will require broad-based immunity in the population,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and chief executive officer. “Businesses of all sizes—from family restaurants to large-scale manufacturing—will benefit from a vaccination process that is understandable, convenient and efficient.”

As the state’s vaccination program moves from health care workers and the most vulnerable, to essential workers, seniors and other at-risk populations, the effort will shift from institutionally focused to a broad, community-based program. As this transition occurs, affected workers and businesses need information about whether they qualify for vaccination, whether vaccine is available locally and where to seek an immunization. The partnership is designed to help workers and businesses understand the process and find a vaccination site.

“In many Missouri communities, hospitals have the most ability to deliver vaccines at scale to targeted populations and the public,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and chief executive officer. “Hospitals stand ready to assist local businesses to educate and vaccinate when the broader efforts begin. It will take hospitals, public health, primary care and the entire health care system being mobilized to vaccinate more than 6 million Missourians.”

Together, the Missouri Chamber and MHA will provide ongoing educational materials and programs to help employers understand which workers are eligible within the state’s program and when. At the same time, the partners will help businesses understand where to access vaccine and vaccinators in their communities.

“The state’s plan is the foundation for our efforts moving forward,” Kuhn said. “We appreciate the Parson administration’s engagement in vaccine distribution. As we move to a much broader program, the health care community, businesses, workers and other stakeholders will all have an increasing role in efforts to expedite the process. Working with the state, our institutions can help advance toward recovery.”

Recent survey research finds only 58% of Missourians are very or somewhat likely to seek the vaccine immediately when it becomes available to the public. However, widespread immunity—which is essential to full recovery and return to normal—will require a higher percentage of participation.

“Health care professionals—especially Missourian’s primary care providers—are a trusted voice in the conversation about vaccines,” said Mehan. “To get our businesses back to full capacity and protect our workers, widespread immunity through vaccination will be essential. This partnership will align our goals—the state’s plan, businesses’ efforts to fully reopen safely and health care leaders’ advance toward immunity—as we undertake the educational efforts and complicated logistics of statewide vaccine distribution and vaccination.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the largest business association in Missouri and was the 2019 State Chamber of the Year. Together with the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Missouri Chamber represents more than 75,000 employers. To learn more, go to www.mochamber.com, or follow us @MissouriChamber on Twitter.

The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 140 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.

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