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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis County leaders are planning a major push to get more young children and teenagers vaccinated against COVID-19 before they head back to school.

St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page is set to reveal this new plan later this morning, but his spokesperson Doug Moore released the details early.

Page is calling the vaccine the most important tool for students this school year.

Moore said this new effort will focus on getting young people between 12 and 19 vaccinated as part of the back-to-school immunization program. Specifically, Moore said the St. Louis County Department of Public Health will launch a daily program starting in mid-July that will include COVID vaccinations with regular immunizations. The effort will continue into September.

Eligible students will be able to receive all of their shots for free at any of the three permanent county health department clinics. Those are at the main health department headquarters in Berkeley, the North Central Community Health Center in Pine Lawn, and the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills.

Students who get vaccinations can also receive physicals and dental services at each location.

Moore said no negative interactions between regular school immunizations and COVID vaccines have been identified.

Numbers show that only about one-third of those between 12 and 19 in St. Louis County have begun the vaccination process. That is the lowest vaccination rate of any county age group. Moore said this vaccination effort is even more critical as the delta variant threatens the area and COVID case numbers have increased by nearly 25 percent in St. Louis County in a week-to-week comparison.

FOX 2 will cover the news conference on air as well as on our website and Facebook page. It begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.