ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Thousands of kids in the area will soon head back to school and St. Louis County officials want to make sure they have their vaccinations. That is why the St. Louis County Health Department is hosting multiple vaccination clinics.
Wednesday morning, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and the Director of the St. Louis County Health Department Dr. Kanika Cunningham came together to speak about the county’s back to school vaccination program. The event took place at the St. Louis County Health Department headquarters in Berkeley. That center is one of the locations where the clinics are taking place.
Page and Cunningham said Wednesday morning that the St. Louis County Department of Health is offering low or no-cost vaccinations at clinics through September 1. Page making the case that getting your kids immunized is a key part of giving them the best chance to stay healthy.
A release from the St. Louis County Department of Health pointed out that Missouri students must be current on specific immunizations before starting the school year. Those include shots for chickenpox and MMR – measles, mumps, and rubella. We’re told religious exemptions are allowed.
Page told FOX 2 that the COVID pandemic led to some families either skipping or postponing childhood vaccinations. If your kids are behind on their shots, Page is encouraging you to bring your children to one of the clinics to get them up to date on their immunizations. COVID vaccinations are also offered at the clinics.
We asked Cunningham why these clinics are so important for families in our area.
“A lot of people may not have a pediatrician or think about primary care and so there is an acute need,” Cunningham shared. “If someone (does) not have a pediatrician or primary care doctor, coming here is that first step to connecting to care. One thing we will do if we do identify that you don’t have an ongoing physician, we will offer you to establish care here at the clinic.”
As mentioned, the vaccination clinics are taking place at the John C. Murphy Health Center in Berkeley. They are also happening at the North Central Community Health Center in Pine Lawn and the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills. The clinics are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. then 12:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Patients with insurance are asked to bring their insurance cards. No appointments are necessary, but families are asked to bring the shot records for their kids.