MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Beginning Monday, all Tennesseans ages 16 and up are now eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
The move comes as the federal government lend a hand to Memphis in an effort to get even more shots in arms. City leaders and health officials say they are glad this is happening.
The federally run Memphis vaccination site at the Pipkin Building will be open to the public on April 7.
“Each of these sites is the first federally run mass vaccination sites in their respective state and each is capable of administering 3,000 vaccinations a day,” Andy Slavitt, White House Senior Advisor for COVID-19 response, said
Tennesseans 16 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Even though many counties such as Shelby had already expanded access, city leaders still call it a win-win for those wanting the vaccine.
“I think what we will see next is we’ll have enough vaccine for everybody that wants one over the age of 16,” Memphis City Councilman Ford Canale said. “I think this is a huge step for us, and it’s a huge win because we can then free up some resources and have mobile sites and pop-up sites.”
FEMA is assisting Tennessee reach more people wanting the COVID shot, especially in underserved communities, by opening this mass vaccination site on Wednesday.
“What I see this doing is, it could free up resources that we have available on the local level to go into some of the pockets of communities in Memphis where we may not have the vaccination rates where we would like them,” Memphis City Councilman Martavius Jones said.
The Memphis FEMA site can handle as many as 3,000 people a day. But city leaders admit there are many who are hesitant to take the shot.
They expect a new campaign to roll out soon letting the public know the vaccine is safe.
“The next push we’ll have to have is reassure those who are on the fence right now about getting it and reassuring them that it’s okay, and that it’s safe and reaching out to those with almost a campaign to get more people on board,” Canale said.
City leaders say there are still appointments available for this week. Just call 901-222-SHOT or click here.