Posts • August 17, 2021

Sleeves Up STL is Increasing Vaccination Rates And Shaking Up the National Conversation

The Sleeves Up STL initiative is receiving tremendous attention nationwide!

Since beginning in July, the campaign has partnered with dozens of barbershops and beauty salons in St. Louis County to provide valuable, life-saving information to our most vulnerable communities. Combatting disinformation and ensuring community members have a plan to get vaccinated is making a real impact: We’re seeing vaccination rates increase in zip codes across the county – and especially in our most vulnerable areas.

Learn more about how the campaign is delivering impact in an excerpt from a recent Fast Company profile of the Sleeves Up STL initiative.

“Disinformation travels around the world 100 times before the truth even gets its pants on,” says Damon Broadus, director of Health Promotion and Public Health Research for the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. He launched Sleeves Up St. Louis on July 19 as part of the Shots at the Shops initiative and is particularly concerned about reaching people between the ages of 12 and 30, who have lower rates of vaccination. “I was talking to someone with the Blues hockey team and he was saying that his daughter was literally sitting in front of him trying to put a magnet up to her arm where she had just gotten the vaccine, thinking that it was going to stick, because that was something that she saw on social media,” he says.

There are signs of progress. Broadus says that in certain zip codes he’s seeing 1% to 4% increases in vaccinations every week at neighborhood clinics. “We’re not a monolith, so we have to try different communication points and have different conversations and allow for that candor.”

Interested in learning more about the impact of this life-saving initiative?

Visit Fast Company to read the rest of the article featuring County Executive Sam Page, Director of Health Promotion and Public Health Research Damon Broadus, and STL barbershop owner Randy Barnes.