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St. Louis County reaches agreement with SSM Health for faster vaccinations

The agreement will allow a dramatic increase in the speed and pace of first-responder vaccinations

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — In partnership with the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, St. Louis County is collaborating with SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to as many as 4,000 area first responders.

The agreement will allow a dramatic increase in the speed and pace of first-responder vaccinations.

Under the agreement, first responders in the St. Louis County area, including St. Louis County police, fire personnel and county-based federal law enforcement employees will start receiving vaccinations at the hospital Monday morning.

More than 650 first responders have already made appointments, filling the first three days in the schedule. Also, around 330 first responders managed to get vaccinated last weekend.

"We continue building partnerships to get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible, and we thank SSM Health for stepping up to help get our first responders vaccinated," St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said. "We will have other partnerships to announce within the coming days."

According to the guidelines mandated by the state of Missouri, first responders are in the Phase 1B Tier 1 category.

"First responder vaccines have been one of St. Louis County's biggest priorities," Michele Ryan, director of the St. Louis County Police Department's Office of Emergency Management, said. "This agreement allows our DPH staff to focus on the other tiers in phase 1. We are extremely grateful for the partnership with SSM Health and SLUH to allow all of our area first responders be vaccinated in an expedited manner. Keeping our first responder infrastructure healthy is a great step in protecting those many citizens that they come in contact with daily."