Missouri teachers and child care providers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-March.

Gov. Mike Parson said during his weekly media briefing on Thursday that the state plans to open up vaccinations to those in Phase 1B, Tier 3, effective March 15. That group includes an estimated 550,000 additional residents.

The newly eligible will also include school staff, water and waste employees, energy workers, critical manufacturing workers, and food and agricultural workers. Teachers have been urging the state to make them a vaccination priority.

Seven of the eight states adjacent to Missouri are already vaccinating teachers.