Vaccination clinics bounce back from delays after extreme winter weather


CREVE COEUR, Mo. – Millions of COVID-19 vaccines weren’t delivered on time because of the winter storm. The federal government plans to correct that by the end of this week.

Mike Lauer, executive director of emergency preparedness for BJC HealthCare, says the extreme cold and snow last week caused about two days of delays in the vaccination process but they’re back on track this week.

BJC canceled all its vaccination clinics last Monday because of the extreme winter weather. It’s reserved this week to makeup those missed appointments.

“I think we’re back on track. We’ve given people the opportunity to go back in and access their…account, which is how they were scheduling their first appointment,” Lauer said. “People can go back in, pull up their medical record, and then rebook their appointment.”

Lauer says BJC is administering about 5,500 to 6,000 doses every week. Each dose brings more hope to the St. Louis area.

“People are starting to feel like we’re starting to move towards a better place,” Lauer said. “In the health care community within the hospitals, we are definitely sensing amongst our staff that they feel like we’re at the beginning of the process of turning the corner.”

According to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, last week’s winter storm delayed the delivery of 3,000 vaccine doses last week. However, the department adds that the state will deliver two weeks’ worth of vaccine this week. With 6,000 doses on hand, St. Louis County hopes to work quickly through those in eligible tiers who have pre-registered.

Meanwhile, St. Clair County in Illinois expects to administer nearly 7,000 doses this week. A spokesperson for Mercy Health says its distribution is business as usual this week. The SSM Health system says they have rescheduled canceled appointments and everything is going smoothly as of Monday.

Madison County has announced a mass vaccination clinic for Tuesday at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville.

Illinois health officials say a vaccination clinic will be available Tuesday through Thursday at the Carbondale Civic Center.

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