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Johnson & Johnson vaccines to be used at St. Louis County event this weekend

The event will be similar to the one held on UMSL's campus. About 2,000 doses will be available

SPANISH LAKE, Mo. — The St. Louis County Health Department is teaming up with the Missouri National Guard for another vaccination event in St. Louis County this Saturday, March 6.

The event is being held at the North County Recreation Complex in Spanish Lake. St. Louis County Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan said about 2,000 doses will be administered at the event. He told 5 On Your Side Thursday evening he believes all 2,000 spots are taken. Walk-ins will not be accepted. An appointment is required.

The county said the clinic will be similar to the recent event on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. At that event, about 35 members of the Missouri National Guard were on hand for logistics, along with as many as 150 volunteers, according to St. Louis County Department of Public Health officials.

This will be the first county event where the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used. It only requires one dose compared to Pfizer and Moderna, which require two shots.

“One visit required, one appointment required, you don’t have to keep track of individuals to make sure they return in 18 or 28 days like the other two vaccine candidates available. So, in that sense, it is a bit of a game-changer if we can get to a better supply of the vaccine and hopefully hosts similar mass events in the future,” Dr. Khan said.

An issue that mass vaccination clinics in the state have had to deal with is people signing up for an event with an unauthorized link. The link is usually shared on social media or with family members by someone who is pre-registered and has an appointment for a clinic. Last week, Jefferson County health officials had 1,900 people register for a mass vaccination event with an unauthorized link. The county said the people who registered with the unauthorized link were called and their appointments were canceled.

Dr. Kahn said unauthorized links are rare for St. Louis County health department events and said the county’s IT department is close to closing the loophole.

“There will be an expiring period and ID built into the link to make sure the person receiving the link originally is the only person able to respond to it and after that the link becomes useless,” Dr. Kahn said.

The St. Louis Health Department urges people to register for vaccine events on its coronavirus information website.

Last week, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that the next tier in its COVID-19 vaccine plan will open in the state on Monday, March 15.

Missouri's Phase 1B-Tier 3 will make the vaccine available to an additional 550,000 Missourians.

RELATED: Missouri to activate next vaccine tier on March 15

Gov. Parson said Tier 3 includes an important part of the state's population, including "workers in many of the industries we depend on to keep our everyday lives operating normally."

Phase 1B-Tier 3 focuses on vaccinating what the state classifies as its “critical infrastructure”. It includes teachers, childcare providers, grocery store employees and those who work in the food and agriculture industries.

As of Friday, March 5, 14.3% of St. Louis County residents have at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state's vaccine dashboard. The dashboard said 15.5% of people in the state have at least one dose and 8.1% have both doses.

For more information about how you or a loved one can get on a registration list near you, follow our full COVID-19 vaccine registration coverage here.

RELATED: Here's how you can get in line for the COVID-19 vaccine