In partnership with the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital is partnering to give the COVID-19 vaccine to 4,000 area first responders in St. Louis County, speeding up the pace for first responder vaccinations.
Under the agreement, St. Louis County police and fire personnel, as well as county-based federal law enforcement employees were to start receiving vaccinations at the hospital on Monday, Feb. 1. More than 650 first responders have already made appointments, filling the first three days in the schedule.
SSM Health is providing vaccines and medical personnel to administer it.
“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 Dr. Sam Page said.
“We will have other partnerships to announce within the coming days.”
Spring Schmidt, acting co-director of St. Louis County Department of Public Health, said while vaccinating first responders is a priority, the supply of vaccines from the state has limited the department’s ability to quickly administer the shots.
“We are thrilled and thankful that SSM Health and the task force has worked with us to provide such quick service to our first responders,” Schmidt said.
All municipal police and fire departments in St. Louis County and federal agencies based in the region, including the FBI and Homeland Security can get the vaccine.
The city of St. Louis is taking the lead on vaccinating its first responders.
Under guidelines mandated by the state of Missouri, first responders are in the Phase 1B Tier 1 category.
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.”