ST. LOUIS – The state of Missouri pushes forward with efforts to get residents vaccinated. Two mass vaccination clinics opened Saturday, one in the county that used Johnson and Johnson Covid vaccine, while the city administered the Moderna vaccine.
The two mass vaccination clinics – one at the North County Recreational Center and the other at Carpenters Union Hall – is a joint effort between city and county health departments, Missouri National Guardsmen, and more than 100 volunteers.
Two physicians getting their vaccines said they want to be an example to the community.
A couple made up of physicians in internal medicine and forensic pathology got their shots. They had this message.
We wanted to get our vaccine with the community we feel is important to show everyone that we do believe that it is safe and it is important for ending this pandemic,” Tracy Norfleet said. “We are excited and want to show that we are an example.
In north county, national guardsmen set up shop in their continuing partnership with local health officials.
After much practice, the first day was seemingly successful.
“It’s actually been flowing very smoothly. This is one of many events that this particular region has done,” MSgt. Canaan Bartley of the Missouri National Guard said.
Health officials admnistered 2,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines and 300 of the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine with the help of between 100 and 150 volunteers.
Bartley said the process is becoming easier and more efficient.
“Practice, practice, practice,” Bartley said. “So usually, before large events, we’ll do a walk-through and kind of go through different scenarios.”
The Norfleets were in and out.
They said the process was simple and the north county community should feel confident in protection against the deadly virus which hit the area hard.
“Our community is at increased risk due to this pandemic having comorbidities and increased risk for mortality,” Tracy said.
“With the guardsmen that we’re working with, we’re working very hard and trying to facilitate as many vaccination sites as possible this is a big request in a big operation they were trying to put together,” Bartley said.
At Carpenter’s Union Hall, Dr. Echols, the acting director of the St. Louis Department of Public Health said they sent out invitations to 2,500 to be vaccinated.
There are more vaccination clinics to come and those receiving the shots like the norfleets say this process is a sign of hope.
“We still have a ways to go which is why it is still important to wear your mask and follow the guidelines of the CDC but now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that is so exciting,” Tracy said.
You must get pre-registered to get vaccinated at any of these clinics. Health officials stress that you do not give out your registration link once you receive it.