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New PSA reaching out to teens about COVID-19 vaccinations

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Health leaders are cautiously optimistic COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Shelby County are starting to decrease. What they’d like to see increase is vaccination rates in Shelby County.

For the second week in a row hospitalizations due to COVID-19 for adults and kids have dropped. Cases per capita are also dropping.

On Thursday, Shelby County logged another 491 COVID-19 cases.

Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor said there are just over 6,000 active cases. The current reproduction rate of the virus is now under one which means we’re on the right side of shrinking the pandemic.

Still, 11 children are in the hospital with the disease and more than 550 adults.

Shelby County is 68 percent of the way to herd immunity, but that means less than 50 percent of the entire population has gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In areas where we’re having less active cases right now we’re seeing in those populations we’re having a higher rate of vaccination,” Dr. Taylor said.

At Thursday’s COVID-19 Task Force briefing Dr. Taylor presented new graphs representing local zip codes. The lighter the color a section is the fewer active cases it has. The larger the blue circle is the higher the vaccination rates are. In both the graphs for adult cases and pediatric cases the larger circles can be seen in the lighter color sections.

Germantown was previously reported as having some of the highest vaccination rates in the county, areas of northern Memphis and Shelby County were reported as having some of the worst rates.

“Pediatric cases remain a great concern of ours,” Dr. Taylor said.

A new PSA produced by the Shelby County COVID 19 Community Council is out showing how mandatory quarantine can be avoided with the vaccine. Leaders want it to strike a chord with teens and families of teens.

Local teens helped create and produce the message.

“It’s to encourage young people and young people at heart to get the vaccine,” East High School Student Kaleb Sy said.

“It’s just part of our larger campaign to get the word out to parents and students in this age group to make sure they’re getting vaccinated,” Dr. Taylor said.

Only 35 percent of Shelby County’s 12 to 17-year-olds are vaccinated right now. More than 100 new pediatric cases were reported on Thursday. All together 491 cases were reported in Shelby County between Wednesday and Thursday.

Click here to find a vaccination location near you.

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