Today, Governor Mike Parson announced that the first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Missouri.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Friday, December 11, confirming its safety and effectiveness.

“Today is an exciting day for Missouri as we have received the first of many shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. We have been preparing for many months and will soon begin administering vaccines according to our COVID-19 vaccine plan,” Governor Parson said. “We appreciate the tireless work of our scientists, health care workers, state and private partners, and everyone who has helped get us to this point. It is truly remarkable how far we've come since the start of this pandemic, and we are very encouraged to now have a verifiably safe and effective vaccine.”

Both preparation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine continue to run according to Missouri's COVID-19 vaccine plan, which was submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in October.

Shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will continue throughout this week to each of Missouri's 21 initial vaccination sites. These sites include hospitals and health care facilities across the state.As each vaccination site receives its shipment of vaccines, implementation of Phase 1 of Missouri's COVID-19 vaccine plan will begin.

Governor Parson reminds Missourians that although a COVID-19 vaccine is now approved for use, it is important to continue practicing preventative measures, including social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and avoiding large gatherings. These behaviors are especially important over the holiday season.

“We are optimistic that this vaccine and future vaccines will provide much needed relief from COVID-19. However, until vaccines are widely available to the public, prevention remains our best weapon against the virus,” Governor Parson continued. “We must stay diligent in our efforts and continue to practice COVID-19 preventive measures.”

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