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St. Louis students get vaccinated at back-to-school event

Students had access to free health screenings, school supplies and vaccinations against COVID-19.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis kids are getting ready to head back to the classroom with safety in mind. 

Hundreds lined up for the Safe Start Celebration at the Gateway Complex in St. Louis Saturday to get free health screenings, COVID-19 vaccines and school supplies.

The event was organized by the St. Louis affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers for Saint Louis Public School students and families. The organization’s national president said the goal is to get kids back in classrooms for in-person learning while keeping everyone in the school safe. 

“We have vaccinations here and we want to continue to pump out the word to the community," said Ray Cummings, president of the American Federation of Teachers, St. Louis Local 420. "Vaccinations and all the other protocols described, based on science, are the way we’re going to beat this thing -- and we’re going to beat it!”  

Mayor Tishaura Jones was expected to be at the event but is quarantined after a member of her staff tested positive for COVID-19.  

Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed attended in her place and said the more vaccinations we can facilitate in St. Louis, the better.

"They talk to relatives and they have friends they talk to and they’re going to say, ‘Well, I got vaccinated and I’m okay. It worked out good and it was quick,’" Reed said. "That’ll cause another family to get vaccinated and another family and another family. That’s what we need.” 

The event also offered school registration on-site.

SLPS students return to school on Aug. 23.

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