BELLEVILLE, Ill. — No appointments were needed for COVID vaccines Tuesday at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds. St. Clair County Health Officials allowed people to show up for vaccines without having to register in advance.
Anyone ages 16 and older who lives, works, or attends school in Illinois can get the Covid- 19 vaccine.
“We put this site together in two weeks and we study what was going on across the country and in other states that were having issues. People standing in long lines for hours, people saying they were running out of the vaccine, disgruntled people, and we did not want to do the same mistakes,” said Herb Simmons, St Clair County Emergency Management Agency Director.
Thousands of people received the Pfizer vaccine. Extra staff was on hand, including the Illinois National Guard, to help speed up the new approach.
Simmons says he can see the light at the end of the tunnel and says the new approach is effective.
“We started a new hybrid approach. We decided yesterday that since we had some extra staffing and the vaccine is coming in at a steady pace, we wanted to make it convenient for our citizens,” said Simmons.
SSM Health announced open COVID-19 vaccine scheduling in the St. Louis region, allowing community members to make appointments online to receive the vaccine at their convenience.
Beginning Tuesday, anyone who qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine under the State of Missouri’s guidelines can go to the SSM vaccine scheduling site and make an appointment at one of six locations.
Clinics are not taking walk-ins and all vaccinations are distributed by appointment only. Vaccination appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited by the amount of vaccine received. To date, SSM Health has delivered more than 100,000 vaccinations to the community.
“We are excited. we still have a long way to go. Community members to see get vaccinated . so spreading the word is really important,” said Marissa Ramos, Director of Clinical Excellence SSM Health Medical Group