ST. LOUIS– The St. Louis County Health Department is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Officials put together a list of some Frequently Asked Questions to help residents navigate the process. Here are some of the questions and answers:
Q: How do I know when I can get vaccinated?
A: Based on CDC recommendations, the state of Missouri determines who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first and how they can receive vaccines when supplies are limited. At this time, DPH is collecting information for all who are interested in being vaccinated by DPH. You can fill out the registration form here.
Q: I have pre-registered for the vaccine. How am I going to be contacted regarding the next steps?
A: Once you are eligible for the vaccine DPH will send you an email with information on how to schedule your appointments. You should schedule both appointments at the same time and at least 21 days apart. The only method at this time for scheduling an appointment is through an online scheduling system.
Q: If I had COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, should I still get vaccinated?
A: Yes. The CDC states that due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.
Q: Can my employer mandate the vaccination?
A: This is a decision made by individual employers. St Louis County has no official guidance on this subject but recommends that everyone refer to guidance issued by the EEOC.
Q: Can I sign my children up?
A: While we understand the need to protect the youngest members of our community, currently the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is only approved for individuals who are 16 and older, and the Moderna vaccine is only approved for those 18 and older. Trials are being planned to study the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine in children, but St. Louis County will only vaccinate in accordance with age ranges authorized by the FDA.
Q: Do I have to be a resident of St. Louis County to pre-register for the vaccine?
A: No. The state has advised counties that offer vaccinations to administer them regardless of the patient’s county of residence.
Q: Are there going to be multiple locations for vaccination distribution or just one?
A: It is our priority to ensure equitable access to care for all members of our community. That is why in addition to DPH clinics, other vaccine providers in the area are also working on obtaining the vaccine and will also plan on how they can further provide community access points. DPH is not the only provider of vaccines.
Q: How do you prioritize if doses from a shipment run low?
A: We are deeply concerned about this, which is why we will release appointments based on the amount of vaccine we have in hand. DPH is allocating vaccine based on guidance set by the state. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has more information on the tiers and eligible recipients at covidvaccine.mo.gov.
Q: How do I register if I don’t have internet access or a phone?
A: St. Louis County is committed to providing equitable access to care for all. DPH has partnered with the County Older Resident Program (CORP) to help register those who may need assistance. If you do not have internet access, you can call DPH at 314-615-2660, and staff will provide further instructions.
Q: Will I be able to change my appointment?
A: With the high volume of demand and the limited supply of vaccine, DPH encourages all individuals to schedule their appointment and make every effort to keep their appointment. It is likely that we will not be able to accommodate changes to your appointment should you request them.
If you still have questions here are some ways you can get more information. St. Louis County has a COVID-19 Hotline Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 314-615-2660.