ST. LOUIS — An eight-week effort will bring thousands of additional vaccine doses to the City of St. Louis, with the hopes of vaccinating 3,000 people a day, seven days a week.
The new program will launch April 7 at the Dome at America’s Center. It’s part of a partnership between Missouri, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the City of St. Louis.
In total, the program will provide up to 168,000 vaccine doses for area residents.
“Since late January, we have been communicating with our federal partners to establish a FEMA mass vaccination site in Missouri,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said in a news release Monday morning. “Now, with vaccine supplies increasing and the support of the White House and FEMA, we have the opportunity to deliver even more vaccines to the St. Louis area.”
The program will use the concourse level of the Dome. Arrangements are being made to provide free parking. The site was selected, in part, because of its proximity to a large number of people who are underserved and have limited access to health care.
The eight-week federal vaccine program is focusing on helping those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and who face economic, transportation or other barriers in accessing a vaccine or the health care system as a whole.
On April 5, FEMA officials, Parson and St. Louis Mayor Krewson held a news conference ahead of the event. Watch in the video player below.
“This special vaccination site enables us to help St. Louis be better protected from COVID-19 by increasing access to life-saving vaccines, particularly for those in the city who are medically at high risk or underserved because they don’t have ready access to health care,” said Kathy Fields, acting regional administrator for FEMA Region 7. “This effort will go a long way to ensure equitable access to vaccinations.”
The doses administered at the Dome will be in addition to Missouri’s current weekly allotment of about 200,000 initial doses. The types of vaccines available at the Dome may vary week to week as supplies change.
The mass vaccine site will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week.
Appointments will be required. Those interested need to register through Missouri’s Vaccine Navigator website or by calling the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411. Eligible residents will be notified when an appointment is available.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said the city will be sharing its list with the state, so anyone who has previously only registered on the city's list will show up through the state's Vaccine Navigator as well.
Mayor Krewson said she's hopeful this eight-week event will cover all adult city residents who want to get vaccinated.
"It really should give everybody the opportunity to get a vaccination right here close to home," Krewson said during a COVID-19 update Monday afternoon.
St. Patrick Center CEO Anthony D’Agostino reacted to the news and said that organization is working with the Urban League on a mass vaccination event to serve the homeless population Wednesday.
“Tremendous news, that’s great,” he said. “The fact that we are prioritizing people who are marginalized, disenfranchised in different ways, I think that’s fantastic. Vulnerable populations need to be prioritized when it comes to this disease and get vaccinated.”
According to the Missouri vaccination dashboard, 16.8% of people in St. Louis have received at least one vaccine dose, and 9.6% are fully vaccinated. Missouri's dashboard says 24.5% of people statewide have at least one dose and 14.3% are fully vaccinated.