ST. LOUIS – There are new signs the tide may be turning in the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in St. Louis region. The Enterprise Center, which hosts St. Louis Blues games and concerts, could soon become a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, according to multiple city officials. Also, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page tells FOX 2 he’ll soon announce up to six new vaccination sites countywide.
The Missouri National Guard will staff nine mass vaccination sites across the state with the first opening tomorrow in Poplar Bluff, according to Missouri Governor Mike Parson.
“As far as the National Guard goes, I’m sure we can use the help,” Page said. “We need vaccinators. We need retired physicians and nurses.”
Ken Hawkins of Fenton felt like he and his wife hit the lottery on Thursday after being selected this early to get their COVID-19 shots at the St. Louis County Department of Public Health in Berkeley. The department has only administered about 1,500 shots with more than 200,000 people signed up to be vaccinated with vaccine in short supply. St. Louis County had only received about 5,000 doses so far, according to Page.
Parson expects the state to receive more than 150,000 additional doses from the federal government between now and the end of the next week.
The Enterprise Center served as a flu shot site in October. City officials like the idea of using it for COVID-19 vaccinations, with its ample parking plus highway and public transportation access. Parson says the mass vaccination sites could dole out up 2,500 shots per day.
Hawkins hoped people would jump at the chance. He called getting the first shot a “piece of cake.”
“There are some people who are skeptical about the vaccine,” he said. “I understand that but the risks (of Covid-19) are too great.”
He said he’d be notified of when to receive his second and final dose in about two weeks.
“We’re not sure who’s going to mobilized or what services they can provide,” Page said. “Certainly, the two pieces to getting vaccines set up, really three: we need space, we need people, we need the vaccine.”
The new county sites could be up and running within a day of being supplied with vaccine he said.