St. Louis County receives 3,900 more COVID-19 vaccine doses, urges honesty in registration

Dr.+Aamina+Akhtar%2C+infectious+disease+physician+and+chief+medical+officer+at+Mercy+Hospital+South%2C+gets+the+first+COVID-19+vaccine+in+the+St.+Louis+region+Monday%2C+Dec.+14%2C+2020.+This+is+a+game+changer%2C+Akhtar+said+of+the+vaccine.+

Photo by Erin Achenbach

Dr. Aamina Akhtar, infectious disease physician and chief medical officer at Mercy Hospital South, gets the first COVID-19 vaccine in the St. Louis region Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. ‘This is a game changer,’ Akhtar said of the vaccine.

St. Louis County received its second delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, taking 3,900 new doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the state of Missouri.

The county Department of Public Health will continue giving vaccines to people who have registered on Wednesday morning, and the process will continue daily at the DPH’s John C. Murphy Health Center in Berkeley.

So far, DPH has administered 1,154 doses of vaccine, with most of them going to health-care workers, including an estimated 250 county employees who are health-care workers. The county had received an estimated 975 doses in its initial allotment, but that amount actually allowed for a slightly higher number of doses to be administered, the county said Tuesday.

“We continue to get the vaccine into arms of our residents as quickly as it becomes available,” said County Executive Sam Page in a news release. “We ask for everyone’s patience as we work through our pre-registration list.”

The county also released more information about the registration process, and what could happen if people give false information on the form. More than 200,000 residents have signed up on the form to receive the vaccine.

Residents who wish to sign up to be vaccinated by DPH should visit stlcorona.com and follow the link for registration to http://ow.ly/zJGN50D1yu7, or email dphcovidvaccine@stlouisco.com to receive the same link. Once you register with St. Louis County, you will receive a “Thank you” message on your screen. That confirms that the county has your information and that the county will contact you as soon as it is ready for you to make an appointment.

“Please be patient with this process. More than 200,000 people have registered on our site so far, and it will take a significant amount of time to get through the list,” the county said Tuesday. “It is important to note that the state determines the supply of vaccine as well as who is eligible to receive it. We are following state guidance in scheduling those who are in the state Phase 1A and 1B. But so far, we have far too few doses to meet the demand. … Once again, we ask your patience as you go through this process. If you register with us, we will get to you just as soon as you qualify to receive your vaccination – and as soon as we have enough supply to give it to you.”

Locations will eventually be available countywide

As supply improves, the county said it will announce several locations where people can be vaccinated, including a major location in North County. The county is also currently working on partnerships that will ensure that vaccinations will be available in multiple locations spread across the county.

With the current limited supply, vaccinations are only being given out at the John C. Murphy Health Center in Berkeley. The county has special freezers to protect the vaccines, which have to be stored in ultra cold temperatures, and transport is a concern as well if there were multiple vaccination sites.

For now, the Murphy location is set up to “keep it stored properly and securely and provide a safe place for residents to receive the drug and to be observed afterward,” said a county spokesman.

Be truthful on the form, however

In the meantime, county officials recommend that residents register with DPH now if you have not done so.

But giving out incorrect information could lead to not getting the vaccine, the county said: “We need everyone to fill out the registration form honestly. Anyone who provides false information may be barred from receiving a vaccine when the appointment comes up.”

The county noted that residents may also wish to register for vaccinations offered by area hospitals.

“However – and this is important – please DO NOT make multiple appointments to receive the vaccine! Doing that means that you are tying up a dose of vaccine that should go to someone else. Remember: Registering yourself with us and other entities is OK. Making more than one appointment IS NOT,” the county said.

It is also crucial for anyone who receives the first dose of the vaccine to get the second dose from the same vaccinator. The way the system works, everyone St. Louis County vaccinates will be given a date and time to return for a second dose. The county warns, “DO NOT attempt to get a second dose from a different vaccinator.”

For more information about the vaccine, visit www.stlcorona.com.