ST. LOUIS COUNTY ( - The COVID-19 vaccine remains a tough sell for local pharmacies across St. Louis County.

"We have not seen much evidence of any urgency,” said Rick Williams. “I kind of feel that people are either vaccinated or they don't want to be at least in this area."

That is what motivated Williams, owner of Ladue Pharmacy, start a $1,000 shopping spree sweepstakes last month, as a way to encourage more people in the community to get vaccinated.

"And then as soon as we announced our shopping spree, I think our vaccines quadrupled,” said Williams. “In the first few days we did 20 to 30 for a couple of days, but it's dropped down again."

Now their pharmacy is seeing about four to five customers a day for the vaccine.

“It’s really frustrating from a medical side and knowing the value of the vaccine, and trying to convince people to do it, and just talking to them and explaining to them why they should do it and still refusing,” said Dr. Tyler Taylor, owner of St. Louis Hills Pharmacy.

Dr. Taylor says his pharmacy has done 10 vaccinations per day over the last couple of days, which is higher than numbers they saw in July. Yet he does not believe it will improve.

"And it’s really frustrating to do all this work and having to start test people again because that puts our staff at risk by going up to people that can possibly be infected,” said Taylor.

State data shows that 52 percent of St. Louis County residents have initiated the vaccination process, only 43 percent in St. Louis City and more than 50 percent in St. Charles County. St. Louis County Public Health officials tells News 4 they plan to have a presentation on COVID-19 vaccinations in the community this Wednesday.

While some pharmacies are concerned a small jump in vaccination interest may wind down again, pharmacies say the delta variant is starting to cause a new wave of demand from people who are immuno-compromised or elderly: interest in the booster shot of the vaccine.

"We are getting calls every day from people that are wanting the booster, which we can't do,” said Williams.

Williams says they hope they can begin the push, and even future incentives for booster shots as they become approved for distribution. 

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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