MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County once again has the COVID vaccine and will resume vaccinations as soon as Tuesday.
The state is giving the health department 8,900 doses of vaccine per week through the end of January. It’ll be available to first responders, health care workers and other priority groups and by appointment only.
With more doses of the COVID vaccine on the way to Shelby County and vaccinations to resume Tuesday, there are still questions about who’ll get it and when?
Dr. Steve Threlkeld is an Infectious Disease Specialist at Baptist Hospital in Memphis says health officials have their work cut out for them.
“Of course it’s extremely critical. We still have those two arms of jobs in front of us,” Threlkeld said. “The first job right now I think is to get the vaccine going. It’s taken over as a number one job. We got to get as many people the vaccine as we can. it’s the ultimate way out of this mess.”
The health department will use the Pipkin Building at the Mid-South Fairgrounds to vaccinate those in phase ‘one-a-one,’ and you must have an appointment. That group now includes funeral home, mortuary workers and people 75 years old and older.
The health department also says all appointments for the month of January have been filled as of January 9th.
“It’s a point for Shelby County, and it’s a point of encouragement that our folks have gotten all of the vaccine distributed that they had available to them. Kudos that’s what we have to do everywhere in this country. It is a point against us all that we don’t have more,” Threlkeld said.
What’s still unknown is what’s the status of those health care workers, first responders and other priority groups who are supposed to receive a second dose of the vaccine.
Should they receive it, or should it be given to another priority group?
“So far, we should be on pace to give people that second vaccine, but I think we have a duty to those people who we vaccinated first to give them in fact their second vaccine. That’s why there’s no question that’s why with the production line we need to find out where the holdup is because it seems to be a little different in every state,” Threlkeld said.
To get vaccinated, those with an appointment only must present an ID and proof of eligibility, including age, professional license, or a letter from an employer.
For more information you should visit the health department’s website.
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