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St. Charles County aims to give 4,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine at Family Arena in largest one-day clinic yet

St. Charles County aims to give 4,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine at Family Arena in largest one-day clinic yet

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ST. CHARLES — At the Family Arena in St. Charles on Thursday, despite cold temperatures and rain, health care workers and volunteers began to administer COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of area residents.

With a goal of vaccinating 4,000 people, it was expected to be the largest one-day immunization clinic the Missouri National Guard has coordinated so far, according to a spokesman.

Sherri Brown, a resident of Weldon Spring who volunteered there Thursday, said it has been hard to watch how slowly vaccines have been distributed, especially in St. Louis.

"I felt like these big events are going to be what unclogs it," said Brown, 60.

For weeks at the Family Arena the county has been holding indoor events, which typically could provide 1,000 to 1,500 vaccinations. Moving outdoors for the first time on Thursday allowed the health department to administer a larger number of doses.

National Guard members checked attendees' paperwork and directed them through the parking lot. Each person was vaccinated, and then monitored for 15 to 30 minutes for signs of adverse reaction. Volunteers and health department workers, some wearing rain ponchos, administered the vaccines. Others sat at rows of tables inside the arena to enter the information into the state's vaccination records software, ShowMeVax.

At 10 a.m., cars coming from the southwest were lined up for about a mile outside the event.

The St. Charles County health department, as of Tuesday, had 90,000 people in its vaccine registration list. Of those, 1,900 qualified under Phase 1A, a group that includes patient-facing health care workers, emergency responders, and the residents and staff of long-term care facilities. The county's registry also includes 37,000 individuals who qualify under Phase 1B Tier 2, a group that includes those age 65 and older, or with underlying health conditions.

And 21,000 people on the county's list became eligible on Monday, when the state opened up vaccinations to Phase 1B Tier 3, which includes teachers, childcare workers, and mass transit workers, among others.

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