COLUMBIA — MU Health Care opened COVID-19 vaccination appointments for people in Phase 1B - Tier 3 and above on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

But those approximately 4,600 appointments filled up within hours. 

The appointments are for March 19 and March 21 at Faurot Field. 

At the end of February, Governor Parson announced the state would activate Phase 1B - Tier 3 on Monday, March 15. This makes approximately 550,000 more Missourians eligible for the vaccine, according to the Governor's Office.

The Phase 1B - Tier 3 focuses on those who perform jobs part of the state's critical infrastructure. It include jobs and services like:

  • Education (K-12)
  • Childcare
  • Communications Infrastructure
  • Dams Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Food & Agriculture Sector 1
  • Government
  • Information Technology

However, some Columbia residents, like 66-year-old Mary Gherardini, would rather wait for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

“I'm more of a one and done," Gherardini said. "So both of those require two shots. And I'd really rather just have one."

Both the Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, while the Johnson & Johnson requires only one dose. 

Dr. Brad Myers, executive director of pharmacy and laboratory services at MU Health Care, said this mentality could delay getting shots in arms. 

"There's still not enough vaccine to go around this point," he said. "So we do encourage people that if you have an opportunity to receive the vaccine—receive the vaccine independent of whichever manufacturer is currently available."

But Gherardini said she isn't too concerned about getting sick and wants to have the personal choice to pick which vaccine she gets.

“I'm told this is what you get, when there is another option," she said. "I'm kind of recalcitrant in that I don't like being told what I have to do.”

However, Gherardini's family plans to see her mother-in-law soon for to celebrate her 96th birthday. Gherardini said she's thinking of getting the vaccine ahead of the gathering. 

To learn more about the state's eligible phases and tiers, upcoming vaccination clinics and county vaccine registrations, head to KOMU.com/vaccine.

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