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County set to enter vaccine Phase 1B-Tier 3

St. Charles County is prepared to transition to Phase 1B-Tier 3 of the State of Missouri vaccine distribution plan, effective March 15.

Eligible persons in that tier includes teachers, officials and logistic and support staff in schools.

“Our Department of Public Health (DPH) staff has been working with private and public school officials to assist them with the pandemic since last summer,” Ehlmann said. “They’ve been meeting at least every two weeks, sometimes more often. We have a good working relationship with all the schools, and are ready, together, to move to this next vaccine tier.”

St. Charles County Public Health Director Demetrius Cianci-Chapman said he approached the school superintendents earlier this year to start planning for vaccinating at the schools. The county already had standing Points of Distribution, or PODS, agreements with five schools for use in emergency situations and will use those locations to vaccinate anyone who works for a private or public school in St. Charles County.

“Our staff will work in conjunction with their staff to hold clinics on Saturdays so as not to disrupt school,” Cianci-Chapman said. “And, we will add additional PODs at businesses and organizations that are critical infrastructure entities outlined in Phase 1B, Tier 3.”

Ehlmann says he is aware that there are those in earlier tiers that have not yet received their vaccines.

“We want to assure them we will not leave them behind by going to Tier 3. I know it is difficult to wait, but we are following the state’s plan, as we have from the beginning of the pandemic, and will continue to do that in the most fair and equitable way possible,” Ehlmann said.

Cianci-Chapman said his staff is planning closed PODs in facilities where the elderly and compromised individuals live or receive treatment to continue to reach more people in Phase 1B, Tier 2. He said more than 120,000 people signed up on the county’s vaccine registration site. 

“We already have vaccinated many of those in Tier 2,” Cianci-Chapman said, “and many have received vaccines elsewhere. Until we get through our registry and hear back from those who no longer want or need a vaccine from us, we won’t have an exact number how many still are left in that tier. We will keep working at it until all residents in St. Charles County who want a vaccine have had that opportunity.”

For more information about vaccination efforts in St. Charles County and to register through DPH, visit sccmo.org/COVIDvaccine.

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