MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One year ago, Doctor Manoj Jain rolled his sleeves up and became one the first to be vaccinated in Shelby county.

It was in that moment where he felt a sense of optimism about the future. Now 52 weeks later that hope has turned to frustration with reality of where things stand.

“I thought once the vaccines were here, things would be perfectly fine,” Dr. Jain said. “Everyone would get the vaccine, and that there would be no variants like we have seen. Unfortunately, neither of those things have been true. We’ve only had, you know, about 50 or 60 percent of the population, take the vaccines.”

Since the health department started keeping track of cases, there have been more than 150 thousand cases and more than 2,400 people die from the virus.

While cases are trending down, Jain says the Omicron variant is cause for concern. Jain says this variant underscores the importance of people being vaccinated, a message he has been preaching since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“Please do not take this lightly,” Jain said. “The virus can cause severe illness, and it can infect your friends and family even those who are vaccinated. Don’t put them at risk.“

Today is the last day vaccines will be available at the Pipkin building, which closes down at 6 p.m. tonight. However, there are multiple places through region to get vaccinated.

Visit vaccines.gov to find the nearest location to you.