County to receive resupply of child vaccines

Mehlville+Fire+Protection+District+employee+Kelly+Pettit+administers+a+Johnson+%26+Johnson+vaccine+dose+at+a+state-run+vaccination+event+at+Bernard+Middle+School+Saturday%2C+April+3.+

Photo by Erin Achenbach

Mehlville Fire Protection District employee Kelly Pettit administers a Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose at a state-run vaccination event at Bernard Middle School Saturday, April 3.

St. Louis County administered the first 300 child doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to local children ages 5-11.

At a press conference Monday, County Executive Sam Page said this was far less than what the county was expecting to receive, but 3,300 more doses will arrive later Monday or Tuesday. Page said the health department will immediately begin setting appointments when the shipment arrives. 

As more child doses roll in, the county will partner with county schools to hold vaccine clinics.

Currently, 54 percent of county citizens are fully vaccinated and cases and positivity rates are dropping. Page said the county is still in the intermediate zone of transmission rate, and the end of the mask mandate depends on several factors.

“The transmission rate in St. Louis County is highest among school-age kids. We’re concerned about that because that’s where people are gathering the most — kids are gathering at school,” Page said. “We very much want our kids in in-person school and at this point we see masks as a minor inconvenience to keeping kids in in-person learning.”

The goal, for now, is to get child vaccination rates up, as they are the most likely to spread COVID within classrooms and for the transmission rate to drop below 5 percent and to have less than 80 cases per 100,000 people per day.