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Pipkin Building closes vaccination operation

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 5:42 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some changes are happening now that may affect where you get your COVID-19 vaccine. The mass public vaccination site at the Pipkin Building will no longer offer the shot after Wednesday.

Health leaders said we are entering a new phase of the pandemic.

Shelby County is completing the process of doing away with the mass vaccination site model as more vaccine providers come online.

After Wednesday the COVID-19 vaccine will not be available at the Pipkin Building, and the Germantown Baptist Church site will close on Friday.

“We are going into a different phase of the pandemic,” Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Michelle Taylor said. “We know that COVID is going to be with us for a while but we also know a lot of providers are giving COVID vaccines.”

They Shelby County Health Department is still offering all vaccines at its location on Jefferson Avenue. It also continues to coordinate pop up vaccination sites and vaccine administration for the homebound.

For homebound vaccinations you can call and schedule an appointment at 222-SHOT. The Shelby County Health Department will host a community vaccination event at Collage Dance Collective Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Now, the department recommends checking the national vaccine website for a list of locations.

Dr. Taylor says the focus is now on getting vaccines from your pharmacist, doctor or big box retailer.

“Every sign says they have free COVID vaccination ready to go,” Dr. Taylor said. “It will be just as convenient to stop into one of those places and get your vaccination.”

Taylor said more people in Shelby County are taking up the booster shot.

Still, Shelby County has less than half of its population fully vaccinated

With the emergence of the omicron variant in the county, doctors are recommending booster for those who are eligible as new evidence shows extra protection will be beneficial against a variant showing to be more evasive of the vaccine.

“We’re seeing the vaccine go from a 70 plus percent effective of preventing symptomatic infections from delta down into the 30 or so range with omicron,” Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Steve Threlkeld said. “That’s a substantial drop.”

Boosters are for those 18 and older who received the Pfizer or Moderna shots six or more months ago or those who got Johnson and Johnson at least two months ago.

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