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A week after delays and cancelations, St. Louis-area vaccine clinics back on track

Vaccine shipments are expected to grow as Missouri gets a larger delivery from the federal government

ST. LOUIS — One week after ice, snow and single-digit temperatures caused clinic cancelations and delayed vaccine deliveries, St. Louis-area health leaders say their vaccine rollout is back on track.

"Bad weather last week lead to a delay in vaccine shipments across the country, including in St. Louis County," County Executive Sam Page said during a Monday morning briefing. "As a result, the 3,000 doses we were to get last week are now expected within the next few days, along with 3,000 scheduled for this week."

Page said more than 20,000 vaccine doses have now been administered in St. Louis County, a number he expects to only grow as they prepare for more doses and more clinics.

"This is an exciting time for our country. The priorities and commitments in place at the federal level, the state level, and local levels will significantly increase vaccines [and] get more assistance to our businesses hit hard in this pandemic," Page said.

BJC staff said they experienced similar delivery delays last week but have already received their shipment. Mike Lauer, BJC Executive Director of Emergency Preparedness, said they are vaccinating a thousand people a day, and when that weather hit, few people canceled appointments. 

"For the days that followed, even though it was a little snowy and very cold, we did not get a lot of cancelations," Lauer said. "People are very motivated to get their vaccine, and if they have an appointment, they seem like they are going to make every effort to get there."

Lauer said they have also been told to expect small increases in weekly doses.

In her own briefing Monday, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said they'll start sending vaccine invitations to residents this week, prioritizing people in seven North St Louis zip codes for a Saturday event then southern zip codes next week.

Though — she cautions — demand far outpaces supply.

"[There is] still a very extremely low supply of vaccines across the country, in the state of Missouri, and here in the city of Saint Louis although we have gotten a little up-tick in the last week or so," Krewson said.