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Pipkin, Germantown public vaccination sites to close before Christmas

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The next phase of COVID-19 vaccine administration is in Shelby County.

Wednesday, the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) once again took charge of vaccine administration and distribution in the county.

“I’ll liken it to maybe the Peabody ducks,” said Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat. “It looks smooth above water, but there’s definitely a lot of paddling going on underneath the water to make all of that happen.”

After 10 months of paddling, which resulted in nearly one million COVID-19 vaccines given, the City of Memphis is passing the reins of leading the vaccination effort back to SCHD.

When the county first started administering the vaccine, it was mainly through public mass vaccination sites, spreading from Midtown to Whitehaven and Raleigh to Germantown. Now, two of those sites remain as many have closed as more private partners have started administering the vaccine.

The Pipkin Building is open until December 15 and the site at Germantown Baptist Church is operating twice a week until December 17.

“Having these mass vaccine sites was temporary in nature until it became part of the normal process where it normalized, like how the flu vaccine is administered,” Sweat said. “We’re much closer to that.”

Tuesday, crews at Germantown Baptist Church saw nearly 1,000 people seek shots there. They eventually ran out of the Pfizer vaccine.

“A lot of people were waiting after the holidays because we weren’t open last week,” said Germantown Fire Chief John Selberg. “Some of them were waiting for us to open back up. I think some people are probably concerned about the new variant coming out.”

The Omicron variant has now been reported in one patient in the United States.

Selberg said a majority of those doses given have been boosters, but doctors are still urging unvaccinated people to seek the shot.

“We are hopeful patients who are fully vaccinated will have substantial protection at least from severe illness,” said Memphis infectious disease physician, Dr. Michael Threlkeld.

Less than half of Shelby County is fully vaccinated.

Those five and up are eligible now. Click here to find a vaccination location closest to your house.

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