Guidance released Monday by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) spelled out some details to help local health authorities develop plans to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine when one is approved.  

The department’s guidance covered a two-shot vaccine, with a minimum of 21-28 days in between doses, depending on which vaccine is available in the state.

Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker said the state’s guidance is a positive.

“It’s a sign that maybe we are coming downhill,” Brinker said. “If I had to guess, I’d say the vaccines will be distributed much like the (COVID-19) tests are being done at several facilities now.”

Brinker said vaccines may be administered by the state in public locations like the one set up at the Washington Fairgrounds earlier this summer for COVID-19 tests.

“As of now, we don’t know what we are going to do,” Brinker said. “We will prioritize for our most vulnerable and first responders. This playbook set out by DHSS will help us develop a plan locally.”

DHSS officials and Gov. Mike Parson were to hold a conference call Tuesday afternoon to discuss details of the distribution plan and the public information campaign to encourage people to get vaccinations.

“Three main talking points will be the timeline of vaccine availability, who the targeted populations are and why the vaccine is important,” said the state’s Communications Director Lisa Cox.

She said the campaign’s overall goal is to ensure Missourians are informed about the vaccines.

The target time frame for the campaign is 10 days prior to vaccine delivery.