ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County is launching a new effort to get more residents vaccinated.
“Sleeves Up STL” will focus on partnering with beauty salons and barbershops to share information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We know that barbershops and beauty salons are trusted places in many communities, places where people go not just to take care of their hair, but to catch up on current events and exchange information,” St. Louis County Executive Sam Page explained Wednesday.
The county health department is inviting salons and barbershops to share information and flyers about the COVID-19 vaccine with their customers. The county will provide the materials for businesses to pass along.
“Black men and women are seeing some of the lowest vaccination rates in our country and we believe that participation from barbershops and beauty salons is going to make a difference,” Page said.
The vaccination trend also is being seen in St. Louis County. The county executive said some ZIP codes in the county have vaccination rates that are as low as areas in rural Missouri.
The same areas are seeing an increase in new cases. Page said health department data shows the rate of infection in the inner north suburbs is 18 per 100,000 people, which is almost 3.5-times greater than in central county. Countywide, the rate among Black residents is 5-times greater than the rate among white residents.
“Showing us what health care disparities can look like just a few miles away,” Page said.
Page announced the launch of the Sleeves Up STL program from inside the Ferguson Fire Station on South Florissant Road, which is holding a walk-up vaccine clinic Wednesday until 3 p.m.