JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson said 105,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the state at a news conference Wednesday.

Parson provided updates on the vaccine distribution and the release of budget withholdings among other things in the news conference.

Parson said the state hopes to complete Phase 1A distribution of the vaccine by the end of the month with another 70,000 vaccines arriving in the coming week. Phase 1-A includes health care workers and long term care residents.

The next phase, Phase 1B, focuses on vaccinating high-risk individuals and those over the age of 65, as well as essential workers.

First responders, child care workers and teachers are all included in Phase 1B, as well as those working in essential fields like energy and food plants.

Dr. Randall Williams said that in 10 days, long term care facilities will be done with vaccinations. Williams said the only limit on rolling out vaccinations is the amount of vaccine available.

A Parson spokesperson said vaccination data will be available on the state's dashboard soon.

Also Wednesday, Parson announced the release of $126 million in budget withholdings for the 2021 fiscal year, including $117 million in general revenue.

The funds released include nearly $26 million for the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development and $1.5 million for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The remainder of the funds will be allocated to other departments including the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Office of Administration, Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, and more.

Parson further announced $68 million in funding for infrastructure and capital improvement projects at higher education institutions but did not provide specific details.

The state legislature opened its 2021 session Wednesday. Parson said COVID-19 liability protections are an overall priority he wants legislators to work on. 

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