MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Health officials said the next four weeks are critical to fighting the coronavirus in Shelby County.
In less than a month on May 17, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is set to end its time at the mass vaccination site at the Pipkin Building. That means the increased capacity that Shelby County has enjoyed over the past few weeks will be reduced, as they will take their 21,000 weekly dose allotment with them.
On top of that, many of the leases for the city’s mass vaccination sites will be coming to an end in May, and a number of partner sites in the community will be drawn down around May 22.
So, what does that mean for you?
If you want a vaccine and haven’t received one, it will be less convenient to get it around mid-May. Health officials encouraged anyone who wants a vaccine to get one sooner rather than later.
To make it easier, almost all sites in Shelby County will be open on a first-come, first-serve basis. For those who would like to schedule an appointment, you may do so on the city’s website.
Health offiicials said they are working to find ways to incentivize getting the shot.
“We’re going to continue to try. We’re going to try everything that we can think of, and we’re going to try everything that evidence suggests might work,” said David Sweat with the Shelby County Health Department.
So far, 32 percent of the overall population in Shelby County has been vaccinated. Health officials said that’s an impressive number but it’s not even close to what we could have at this point if everyone took advantage of the vaccines available.
The goal is to have 700,000 people vaccinated to reach herd immunity. As of Thursday, Shelby County is sitting at 300,000.