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City leaders seeing some positive changes in vaccine hesitancy in the Mid-South

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - By far the biggest event in Cooper-Young in Memphis will be taking place next weekend.

The Cooper-Young Festival was canceled last year due to COVID-19. This year they held a vaccination event before the big event. The vaccination event was held Wednesday.

“We’re promoting safety more than anything here with these vaccinations,” said Tamara Cook, executive director of Cooper-Young Business Association.

The Cooper-Young Festival will take place September 18. Most of the people who came were looking for their third shot, which is available to those with compromised immune systems.

“I’ve already had my first two and I am compromised with a heart valve problem, so I just want to be sure to skip out catching one of those variants going around now,” said Sharron Johnson, who got her third Pfizer shot.

However, there were a few getting their first round of shots.

“Oh, I’m just happy to be fully vaccinated now. I don’t have anything to worry about, but still wearing my mask,” said Taishiana King.

King got her second Pfizer shot at this event. Fear was her primary reason for holding out until this point.

“Just because of all of the reviews and a lot of people were saying they were getting sick from it, and I kind of didn’t want to go through the symptoms myself,” King said.

The Shelby County Health Department said they are averaging about 1,400 shots per day.

Tuesday, Mayor Jim Strickland said the city’s “Our Best Shot” team, who is going door to door talking to residents about vaccination, got some encouraging news.

After 18 weeks of canvassing, the team finally had more people saying yes, they would take the vaccine, instead of no.

164 said yes. 128 declined.

“Now, most people had already taken it, but for those who had not taken it, we got some good news that more said yes, I’m willing to take it because we’re hearing more and more of friends and families of acquaintances who are not vaccinated and are getting seriously ill,” said Strickland.

ShotRx said the event in Cooper-Young was their fourth vaccination event on Wednesday alone.

“At ShotRx, we’re the only mobile vaccination clinic in the city. We’re all over the place at churches, at businesses,” said Dr. Ted Lyons co-owner of ShotRx.

Health officials said every shot administered is one step toward getting back to a sense of normalcy.

Vaccinations will also be offered during the Cooper-Young Festival at the Bluff City Sports parking lot at 769 South Cooper.

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