St. Louis County has made a very specific adjustment to the open-window for people who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.  According to details released by the county, they're starting to accept appointments from people who are "caregivers to people with complex medical needs". These caregivers can be of any age, as long as they meet the criteria established by the Public Health Department.

The COVID-vaccine priority for those identifying as a caregiver comes with very specific definitions - in both paid and unpaid situations.  The definition of a paid caregiver is pretty standard - i.e. they are employed in the medical field as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) or Direct Support Professionals (DSP).  These positions include both those working on waivers and those working from home and community-based services.

When it comes to unpaid caregivers, the availability is still there - it's just a little more specific to the need.  From the county:

"Eligible unpaid caregivers include primary caregivers who work in similar capacities as PCAs, DSPs and nurses for persons with complex medical needs and tactile interpreters for people who are deaf-blind."

The county is specific about the fact that "simply running errands for someone" doesn't qualify.

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As far as the "complex medical needs" part, St. Louis County is also specific about that:

"The person being cared for can be of any age, but must have complex medical needs. Complex medical needs can most easily be explained as one or more medical issues requiring a significantly higher level of direct care than is typically needed by an individual of the same age."

Caregivers who fit the definitions can schedule their appointments at any of the existing venues currently open.  Eligible caregivers who don't have a medical provider can register for a vaccination appointment through St. Louis County Public Health - either online (click here) or by calling 218-726-2623.

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