ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County may have to pause this week's scheduled vaccinations due to lack of supply from the state.
According to a press release from St. Louis County Executive Sam Page's spokesperson, the county is entering its third week without a new supply from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The state previously announced it would provide weekly supplies of the vaccine.
Page's spokesperson said St. Louis County is well-equipped to provide vaccines to at least 5,000 people per week.
St. Louis County said it did reach agreement Monday with local hospital groups to receive 1,950 doses later this week.
As of Monday evening, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health is scheduled to run out of vaccine doses on Tuesday.
Unless more vaccine is made available from DHSS, the broad community access to the vaccine that DPH provides may have to be paused, the press release said.
5 On Your Side's Casey Nolen reached out to Missouri Governor Mike Parson's office. Here's what his spokesperson said: "We allocate over 15k first doses a week to the hospital systems in St Louis, which we trust to rapidly deliver them to the public. The county health department is one of many delivery options we have at our disposal."
“St. Louis County continues to be uncertain when and whether it will receive vaccine doses,” Page said. “This makes it incredibly difficult to plan a distribution network and effectively communicate with those who have signed up and are anxiously awaiting an appointment.”
“More importantly,” Page added, “it puts at further risk the population DPH serves, including people who are uninsured or underinsured, people who do not have a primary care physician, and others who are uniquely at-risk and vulnerable to COVID-19. Many of the people who need the vaccine the most simply will not have access to the vaccine.”
St. Louis County's health department expanded its vaccination operation last week and opened four additional sites for a total of five. St. Louis County offers vaccinations at John C. Murphy Heath Center in Berkeley, the Florissant Valley campus of St. Louis Community College in Ferguson and the fire districts in Affton, Eureka and Mehlville.
"Unfortunately, we have not received any vaccine from the state the past two weeks and the county found out this morning it will not receive any vaccine from the state this week," spokesperson Doug Moore said in an email.
The following message comes up on the state's COVID-19 vaccine map locator: "The state of Missouri is still experiencing an exceptionally limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Before contacting a vaccinator on this map to coordinate your vaccination, please understand that many vaccinators are still awaiting supplies from the federal government."