CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page is addressing the region’s vaccination efforts. Local leaders are concerned the area could see a spike in COVID numbers because of the delta variant. He says that there does not yet appear to be a spike in COVID cases.
“Missouri is the number one state in the nation for the rate of new COVID cases. That is in a large part due to low vaccination rates in rural areas. Like any variant of this virus it spreads quickly and pays no mind to state, county, or city borders.
The Delta variant threatens St. Louis County. There is no doubt about that. Fortunately we have not seen increases in new COVID cases here yet. We have noticed a slight uptick in cases this week, averaging 50 new cases a day. We are not certain if that is a one time bump or a new trend. But, our health experts are watching it very closely.
We are fortunate that we have the single best tool to fight the delta variant and protect ourselves from the COVID resurgence, vaccines. Vaccines are safe, free, and highly effective against the delta variant.
Because of the hard work of our Department of Public Health, it has never been easier to get vaccinated. DPH has formed a number of partnerships with businesses, churches, and nonprofits. Many of them are in our most vulnerable areas, to set up vaccination clinics,” siad Dr. Sam Page.
St. Louis County will partner with one of the region’s largest employers for a mass vaccination event. This will happen as Missouri ranks first in the nation for the number of new coronavirus outbreaks per capita.
The unvaccinated are at a higher risk of getting sick from the new strain.
St. Louis and St. Charles counties have among the highest percentages of those completing vaccination across the state at 41 and 42 percent, but the City of St. Louis is at just 32 percent.
The Missouri Hospital Association said since May 1 the number of COVID hospitalizations in the southwest region have increased from 111 to 265 as of June 18.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones joined other U.S. mayors in a virtual meeting on the pandemic, and spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci about ways to get more people vaccinated.
“The most pressing is getting more shots in arms to keep residents and their families safe. St. Louis’ vaccination rate is just under 40 percent,” Jones said. “We want to deploy mobile vaccine clinics to neighborhoods with the lowest vaccination rates, so residents can get vaccinated in their own communities, with little need to travel.”
Jones said she also plans to have town hall meetings to educate those who are reluctant to get the vaccine.