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KSDK: From churches to unions, St. Louis County partners up to vaccinate and target groups

From churches to unions, St. Louis County partners up to vaccinate and target groups

"This is definitely something we would want to do. Our founder was really into public health — you may not know that about Jesus!"

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County is working on a new strategic plan to get people vaccinated.

Instead of mass vaccination events, it'll move to targeted ones, focusing on people who are still unsure about getting the shot.

St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page says the plan is to partner with trusted groups.

"When people see other folks in their groups or organizations and see people getting vaccinated, they feel more comfortable getting vaccinated themselves," Page says.

The health department will link up with places of worship, unions, businesses and community organizations, those that have built rapport with members or clients.

Pastor David Denoon with First Congregational Church is on board to help.

"This is definitely something we would want to do. Our founder was really into public health — you may not know that about Jesus! He would set up health clinics wherever he went. Giving out all sorts of cures and that sort of thing. We would like to stay in that general theme," Pastor Denoon explains.

First Union Church and The Gathering are also willing to partner.

For labor unions, St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenter's Regional Council has already locked arms with St. Louis city for vaccine events, vaccinating 3,200 people.

It even hosted events for their own. About 1,200 members and their families got the jab.

Its location is in the city but will shift to the county to help.

Executive Secretary Treasurer Al Bond says, "We can go to our training center in Affton. We have a large parking lot and indoor facility. We'll do whatever it takes to try and help."

A spokesperson with Laborers Local 110 says they've already reached out to the health department saying they'd help.

They're even incentivizing their members.

For those who haven't signed up, they are offering $100 to get the vaccine.

As for community organizations, STL Juntos and Casa De Salud are working with county health departments across the area, both targeting the Hispanic community.

Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, the co-founder with STL Juntos, says it's a good move by the county, trying to get smaller-scale events with trusted partners.

"These smaller events make it feel like you belong, and the trusted community partners already have a relationship with them," Ramirez-Arellano adds.

Through data, they've learned the Hispanic community heavily relies on social media.

That's why on the STL Juntos Facebook page, it's been active with videos about vaccination events and vaccine information.

The county's latest effort hopes to add some faith to those unsure about the vaccine.

"We need to get a greater rate in our country and community to fully reopen the economy," Page says.

If any groups or organizations want to be a part of this, you would need to have enough space and be able to recruit people.

If so, the health department will bring vaccine and vaccinators to you.

For more information on vaccine partnerships, click here.

P.O. Box 410091
Saint Louis, MO 63141
Paid for by Page for Missouri, Sue Felling, Treasurer

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