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Capitol Briefs: Parson, FEMA launch new vaccination effort in St. Louis

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The city of St. Louis should receive an additional 168,000 COVID-19 vaccinations over an eight-week period under a new program announced by Gov. Mike Parson and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Monday. 

Parson said the state had been working with federal partnerships to bring a FEMA mass vaccination clinic to Missouri since late January. The program will be held in tandem with other statewide vaccination distribution efforts. 

“Through our state-support vaccination events, we have shown that we can efficiently get vaccines into arms on a very large scale,” Parson said. “Now, with vaccine supplies increasing and the support of the White House and FEMA, we have the opportunity to deliver even more vaccines to the St. Louis area.”  

“This special vaccination site enables us to help St. Louis be better protected from COVID-19 by increasing access to life-saving vaccines, particularly for those in the city who are medically at high risk or underserved because they don’t have ready access to health care,” Kathy Fields, acting regional administrator for FEMA Region 7, said. “This effort will go a long way to ensure equitable access to vaccinations.” 

President Joe Biden has set a goal of getting 200 million COVID-19 vaccination shots out during his first 100 days in office. He also directed states to make the vaccine available for any adult who wishes to receive one by May. 

Missouri entered Phase 2 of its vaccination distribution efforts Monday, opening eligibility up to about 880,000 adults. Phase 2 includes those who work in construction, higher education, and food and agriculture sectors as well as those who are homeless. Parson also said Monday more than 20,000 initial COVID-19 vaccination doses were given throughout the St. Louis area in three days last week. 

  • The program launches April 7 and will vaccinate about 3,000 people per day at the Dome at America’s Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day for eight weeks. 
  • The program is designed to vaccinate those who face barriers such as economic or transportation issues. 
  • The Missouri National Guard, U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services, and the State Emergency Management Agency are partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense, the city of St. Louis, and FEMA to host the mass vaccination program. 
  • Nearly 25 percent of Missourians have received at least one dose of the vaccine thus far. More than 877,000 individuals (about 14 percent) have completed the vaccination process. (Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses; the J&J vaccine requires only one dose.) 
  • More than 77,000 COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in the city of St. Louis as of Monday morning. Nearly 17 percent of the city’s population has initiated the vaccination process. 
  • Those eligible to receive the vaccination at this site can register online or by calling 877-435-8411.