MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials said they will be closing two more vaccination sites as demand for the Covid-19 vaccine dwindles.
COO Doug McGowen said the Germantown site will close June 24 and the Whitehaven location will be shutting down on June 30. By July, the only permanent vaccination site still available will be the Pipkin building.
“Nearly 40% of the people have been vaccinated here, along with those who have immunity from the disease, we are very close to that 70 percent immunity,” McGowen said.
Many people over the age of 45 are now vaccinated, but younger people and children still aren’t getting their shots.
“Right now in the last 14 days more than half of the cases that have been diagnosed have been diagnosed in people less than 35 years old,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Health Department deputy director. “In fact, 24% of the cases diagnosed in the last two weeks have been children less than 18 years of age.”
Many young people can also become what’s called COVID long haulers, with lingering side effects such as scarring of the lungs and leaving you more susceptible to other diseases.
“There are a lot of reasons other than the fear of death to get the vaccine. The vaccine can stop you from having severe illness, the vaccine can stop you from having to wind up in the hospital,” Sweat said.
Community pods, which are pop-up events in partnership with local churches, schools and businesses, will still take place. If you need a ride to any of the sites, you can get one free of charge by calling 901- Ride901.
“What we’ll do is maintain our ability to do community-based pods, which have never ceased, and we will continue to vaccinate in conjunction with our partners at churches, businesses, and schools,” McGowen said.
Homebound vaccinations are also still taking place. To schedule that appointment, call 901-222-SHOT.
Health officials announced a winner has been selected in the Shot For Shot sweepstakes. The person has been notified and has several weeks to come forward to claim their prize. Health officials said they will not announce the person’s name until they have come forward.
The city says it’s pleased with the results.
“We are confident that it did improve the demand for vaccine locally,” McGowen said. “As evidence, many other cities who had a community vaccination site staffed by FEMA and DOD saw a dramatic drop off in their demand. We didn’t see that drop off.”