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ST. LOUIS – Starting Monday, more than 2,000 teachers from across the St. Louis region will receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Vashon High School.

Teachers and staff from public, charter, parochial, and private schools have been scheduled by appointment to receive the one-shot J&J vaccine. Deputy Superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools Dr. Michael Brown says receiving the shot is convenient for this kind of mass vaccination project since teachers and staff won’t have to return for a second shot.

Ray Cummings, head of the St. Louis teachers union, has been applying pressure on Governor Mike Parson to get more vaccines in urban areas. They feel the persistence paid off.

“That press conference was on a Friday that following Tuesday, something broke lose. He said something’s going to happen,” Cummings said.

St. Louis Public Schools partnered with the Urban League and Missouri National Guard to coordinate the program. The SLPS sees this as a giant step forward in helping keep teachers and students in the classroom and COVID-19 out.

“It is important for the social and emotional health of our students to be in the classroom with their classmates while still practicing social distancing,” Brown said.

Vaccination appointments will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; surrounding Walmart stores will also provide additional vaccine support.