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St. Charles Co. relaunches vaccination clinic at Family Arena Center

About 500 had signed up for the one day event, which was offering Pfizer shots for first-time patients and booster recipients

ST. LOUIS — Wet concrete shows signs of the rain that fell over St. Charles Wednesday morning, but the rain rolled out just as crews moved in to set up a mass vaccination clinic at Family Arena Center.

One of the people here for her Pfizer booster, Joy Barkfelt, is back after she received her first two rounds when St. Charles Co. launched on March 18.

"The first time it was awful. It was a rainy day when we were coming here. I was in line for four hours that day," Barkfelt said. "The next two times it has been like this. Everybody has got it figured out, and it's pleasant this time."

St. Charles County public health workers vaccinated about 4,000 people on March 18. A fraction of that, 500 people, signed up for appointments for Wednesday.

Organizers said they continue to fine-tune their process.

"Every single event we learn something new, and we adapt our processes accordingly," acting public health director Sara Evers said. "A lot of the staff that are here today may not have participated in an event that we had last year or had in the spring, so we are training new employees while we are here."

Evers said staffing levels have changed dramatically since the spring when they had help from volunteer groups, the National Guard, and contracted health care workers.

As people pull away from the event, Barkfelt said she hopes more people will line up for their shots.

"If you haven't gotten it, get it because it's just the right thing to do. If for no other reason, it's the right thing to do" she said.

Organizers say they plan to hold more mass drive-thru events if and when Moderna and J&J get approved for boosters too. For a list of upcoming community vaccination events, visit sccmo.org/COVIDVaccineSignUp.