ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The deadline is coming for those eligible to get vaccinated to do so if employed by St. Louis Public Schools or the City of St. Louis.
Back in August, the school district mandated by October 15, all eligible employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy includes medical and religious exemptions. The most recent numbers of where the district stands have not been released, however, as of the beginning of September, more than 80% of approximately 3,600 employees who responded to a survey have been vaccinated. That varies from school to school however, with some schools having as high as 90% of staff vaccinated and others as low as 50%.
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Next Friday, the mandate also goes into effect for City of St. Louis employees. Civil Service employees, or nearly 6,000 city workers, will be required to get tested for the virus on a weekly basis by the city's Department of Health if they are not vaccinated.
As the race to get more eligible people vaccinated continues, the focus is also shifting to those who could soon be a part of that group, those ages 5 to 11. Pfizer's pediatric COVID vaccine is a low-dose version of it's regular shot. It contains just a third of the amount given to adults and teenagers but in tests, it offered similarly strong protection against the virus. Experts say most children can tolerate a COVID infection, but not all do.
"Sometimes we're not able to predict well who will suffer severe consequences," said Pediatrician Dr. Grace Lee.
President Joe Biden also said it s important for that age group to have a vaccine.
"Vaccination requirements are a tough medicine, unpopular with some, politics for others, but they're lifesaving, and game-changing for our country," he said during a vaccine push tour on Thursday.
The shots could be approved by next month. As far as those with upcoming deadlines, St. Louis Public Schools said those who don't get vaccinated by the deadline will face disciplinary action.