High profile St. Louis doctor gives out shots to bring attention to the COVID-19 vaccination effort

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ST. LOUIS – In an effort to increase the number of individuals getting the COVID vaccinations, a high-profile St. Louis doctor was giving out the shots Friday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has had a COVID vaccination clinic up and running in the Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis for several weeks now. The number of individuals showing up for the shots has been less than expected.

To bring more awareness to the vaccination effort, FEMA invited a high-profile doctor to be a guest vaccinator.

The Incident Commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Dr. Alex Garza visited the Dome to thank the FEMA staff and members of the Navy and Marines for giving out the vaccinations.

Dr. Garza picked up the needles and gave out first and second doses of the pfizer vaccine.

“Anything we can do to draw attention to get people to get vaccinated whether that’s myself or other people around the city participating in these events,” Garza said. “Anything we can do to get more people vaccinated is a good thing.”

FEMA has been prepared to give out 3,000 shots a day at this site but the daily turnout has been less than 3,000.

In total, 23,000 doses have been given out since the start of clinic on April 7.

“For us, we don’t focus so much on what our maximum capacity is because we don’t have to be at capacity to have an impact and you just said now we’ve given out almost 23,000 shots at this facility,” FEMA site coordinator Duwayne Tewes said. “Within the next couple of days, I expect to surpass 25,000 shots and that’s 25,000 people that have come to this facility and gotten something they need in order to keep themselves healthier and safer and that’s something that we celebrate.”

The FEMA vaccination clinic at the Dome is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until June 1. No appointment is necessary. Walk-ins are welcome.

“The more people we can get vaccinated, the faster, the quicker you know, we can start loosening the restrictions that we have, opening up businesses, filling up ballparks and hockey arenas and all those things that we want to do,” Garza said.

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