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FEMA officials open St. Louis COVID-19 mass vaccination site

Pre-registration is still recommended at the Dome at America's Center, but no longer required

ST. LOUIS — Wednesday was the first day of the 56-day FEMA COVID-19 vaccination operation, downtown inside the Dome at America’s Center.

Federal government officials are distributing shots of the Pfizer vaccine, to begin.

Now that this operation is underway, FEMA officials say online or by telephone pre-registration is still recommended, but no longer required.

FEMA spokesperson John Mills said, “We did have some people lined up at the front to get in, right when we opened, so we actually opened the doors a few minutes early, Wednesday morning.”

By 11 a.m., vaccinators inside were caught up, and there was no waiting.

“I registered online,” said Sam Watkins Park. “I was on the city waitlist, so I got an email.”

Nathan Smith said, “There’s a lot of National Guard inside that point you in the right direction.”

Harry Rogers, 70, arrived without an appointment.

“I’m going to see if I can sign up and get it,” Rogers said. “I was watching 5 On Your Side, and they were saying you can register. So if I can’t get the shot today, at least I can register for it.”

Rogers was in luck.

“We had a lot of people come in who did not have an appointment,” said Mills, “and we were able to get them vaccinated. But we are still strongly encouraging people to sign up at the Missouri Vaccine Navigator website. That’ll make the process faster for them.”

Shuttle services offer free transportation to and from free parking, which is located north of the Dome, at 6th and Cole.

Mills said, “If people are nervous about having to walk distances through the Dome, we have people to provide you with a wheelchair, temporarily, to help get you through the process. You don’t have to stand or walk too long a distance.”

And outside exit Gate D, at 7th and Cole, we found Harry Rogers, after he tried to get in without an appointment.

“I signed up here, today,” said Rogers, laughing. “This is the best situation that it could possibly be. I’ll see you in three weeks!”

FEMA officials say you can register by phone by calling 877-435-8411.