Thousands of vaccination appointments go unfilled at Pipkin Building, health officials says


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials are making changes to encourage more people to get COVID-19 shots at the mass vaccination site at the Pipkin Building, after a lack of response.

Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen told reporters Thursday that thousands of vaccination appointments went unfilled Wednesday and there are still thousands available for the rest of the week.

Also, health officials decided to offer the first and second dose of the vaccine at the Pipkin Building site.

On Thursday they announced anyone can show up without an appointment between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and get a vaccine from April 8-11. For that effort, they have set aside 500 doses that will be given away on a first-come, first -serve basis.

Starting next week, the Pipkin Building will also begin daily operations earlier. Health officials noticed that the site was busiest in the morning and evening hours. They hope that by opening at 7 a.m. they will be able to catch Shelby County residents on their way to work.

The site will remain open until 7 p.m. daily.

Also next week, Shelby County residents will be able to call (901) 497-1598 and set up a time for MATA to come pick them up. When you do that, an appointment will automatically be scheduled for the same time.

The city and MATA have also come up with a voucher system where the ride will be free of charge.

To set up an appointment through the City of Memphis, click here.

Shelby County health officials say 254,000 people have had at least one shot and 140,000 have been fully vaccinated.

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