MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter updated Shelby County commissioners Wednesday on where the county stands in the vaccination process, and when other groups might be in the line to receive them.
Haushalter said the county had administered more than 14,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The health department released different figures later Wednesday afternoon. Those numbers showed 26,688 first-dose vaccinations, and 6,999 second doses had been administered.
Right now the health department currently offers vaccines to first responders, health care workers outside of the healthcare systems as well as people age of 75 and over.
No exact date can be given right now for when they can start including other people younger than 75. Haushalter says it depends on the supply they get from the state.
The health department is also working to increase the number of vaccination sites. Currently, there is just one at the Pipkin Building at the old Fairgrounds, but Haushalter said they are in negotiations at other locations.
Haushalter also said her team is working with schools for a vaccination plan for teachers. That could happen in February, though she said she could not offer an exact date.
“It is dependent on supply and the MOU in place and sufficient staffing, but our goal is to get that done sooner rather than later. We have been able to see in some health care systems that when they have the second vaccine already administered, they’re seeing less cases,” she said.
The department also released a new health directive Wednesday that will go in effect beginning Saturday.
Restaurants in Shelby County will be able to operate at 50% capacity, up from 25%, thanks to a new health directive. Patrons are still supposed to wear a mask when they’re not eating.