BJC HealthCare and Washington University are working quickly to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to those who are eligible in accordance with federal and state guidelines. We strongly encourage the vaccine for anybody who is eligible to receive it.
The vaccine will be distributed in phases developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and implemented at a state level. Decisions about the distribution phases and timelines are made by U.S. and state public health agencies, with a goal of providing the vaccine first to those believed to be at highest risk. More information about the distribution phases can be found below.
Active Vaccination Priority Phases
Currently the active phases for Missouri and Illinois are:
You may still preregister for the vaccine even if your group is not yet eligible. We will contact you when your eligibility window opens, and when vaccine supply and distribution capacity are available. It could be several weeks or even months before you are able to schedule. Thank you for your patience.
There are several preregistration websites through counties and other health systems. You may preregister on multiple sites, and we recommend that you accept the first opportunity provided to receive a vaccine.
Read more vaccine information:
Is the vaccine approved — and is it safe and effective?
The Pfizer vaccine received approval on December 11 under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), a process the federal government uses during an emergency to authorize use of a vaccine, drug or medical device that is not yet licensed or that is licensed for a different purpose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a thorough and scientific process to evaluate vaccine safety before granting emergency use authorization.
Clinical trials from both Pfizer and Moderna show an estimated 95% and 94.5% effective rate for these initial vaccines, respectively. The clinical trials do show possible side effects, including fever and body aches. The vaccine is the best defense against the virus and an important step toward eradicating community spread.
Learn more about the process to monitor and ensure vaccine safety and efficacy.
Remember to maintain important safety measures
Now, more than ever, with hope on the distant horizon, it’s important to stay focused on safety. It will be many months before the community reaches a vaccination rate that will enable everyone to relax those measures — so it’s critical to continue to practice safety measures to protect against COVID-19 infection:
- Continue to wear masks when you leave your homes or when you cannot maintain 6 feet of space from others.
- Remember to practice physical distancing.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid crowds and stay home unless fulfilling essential needs like work, school, shopping and medical care.