ST. LOUIS — On a warm, summer night, lots of people packed Turner Park in north St. Louis.
Sure, they had fun, but the focus was much more serious.
"All of our events will allow people to walk up and receive COVID-19 vaccinations," said Dr. Frederick Echols, the Acting Director of the City of St. Louis Department of Health.
A team of nurses and other licensed medical professionals with the city's health department arrived with their mobile clinic.
Members of the group Prepare St. Louis also descended on the park with two goals in mind: to educate folks about the spread of COVID-19 across the city and to encourage more people to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine especially now that the dangerous delta variant is spreading across St. Louis.
"For the past 18 months, Prepare St. Louis has been focused on COVID mitigation through education, making sure that our community understands what their options are," said Brittani Gray with Prepare St. Louis.
"Our focus has to be interrupting the transmission, so stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 so that we can reduce the potential of additional variants from developing in our community," said Dr. Frederick Echols.
Currently, only 39% of the estimated 397,000 residents in St. Louis are fully vaccinated, that's about 102,000 people.
Health officials say many of those people are African Americans, and, that's why the city is taking its mobile, COVID-19 vaccine clinics to a variety of zip codes on the north side and at least two on the south side, in hopes of preventing the spread of the deadly viruses.
"We know that African Americans account for up to 80% of newly-reported covid-19 cases," Dr. Echols said.
Cases health officials hope their clinics can help curb.
Upcoming clinics sponsored by the City of St. Louis Department of Health include:
- Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, 2901 N. Grand, 63107
- This clinic will serve second dose needs for clinics held June 24-26 by the DOH, as well as walk-ins. Pre-registration is available.
- Friday, July 23, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., 4025 Sullivan Ave., 63107
- Saturday, July 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Adams Park Boys & Girls Club, 4317 Vista Ave., 63110
- Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., 63103