FEMA to open mass vaccination site at the America’s Center


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – St. Louis City is about to receive a large influx of COVID vaccine doses. Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced a partnership with FEMA to provide an additional 168,000 vaccines to St. Louis over an eight-week period.

The program will launch on April 7 and vaccinate up to 3,000 people a day, seven days a week.

The vaccines will be administered in the concourse level of the Dome at America’s Center. The center was chosen because of its proximity to a large number of Missourians at high-risk for the disease and limited access to health care. The site will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The eight-week program is designed to reach those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and who face economic, transportation, or other barriers in accessing the health care system.

Dr. Alex Garza, the head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, said this is great news.

“Making sure that the vaccine reaches the most vulnerable populations, which we know are in the African American and Hispanic communities, and in communities where there’s more of a socio-economic disadvantage, so this is targeting the right populations,” Garza said.

Parson’s announcement comes as Missouri enters Phase 2 of its vaccination schedule, meaning about 880,000 adults are now eligible to receive the vaccine, including those who work in construction and manufacturing, those who work in financial services and higher education, and those who are unhoused.

Garza said the increasing vaccine supply should meet the demand of the increasing number of people eligible to be vaccinated.

“What that translates into is at what speed can we then vaccinate everybody that’s eligible to get us through this,” he said. “Now, given a good supply, we think we can move through these populations fairly quickly.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said she believes the FEMA vaccine program will ensure everyone in the city who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

“We are really trying to get everybody to go somewhere that’s convenient for them,” Krewson said during Live with Lyda on Facebook this afternoon.

The mayor explained there are 300,000 people living in St. Louis City and 60,000 are children. She said roughly 56,000 people have already been vaccinated in the city. She said the FEMA program will bring more than 100,000 vaccines and that is on top of the other vaccine events already planned in the area.

According to Dr. Garza, some 600,000 people in the St. Louis region have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and approximately 350,000 are fully vaccinated. That’s about 16% of the total population in the metro area.

Mayor Krewson said people should sign up with the city or with the state’s Vaccine Navigator. You can also register by calling the state’s COVID-19 hotline at (877) 435-8411.

FEMA also announced a similar vaccine program will be set up in Gary, Indiana as well.

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