Mass vaccination sites close down in Shelby County

Published: Dec. 18, 2021 at 9:43 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been one year since some of the first people were vaccinated against COVID-19.

With federal and local help, venues in Shelby County were transformed to meet the demand for vaccines, but that has now come to an end.

As of today, well over 532,000 people in Shelby County have been vaccinated. But now mass vaccine sites are a thing of the past. The Health Department decided this week to shut them down.

The Pipkin Building was one of the first mass vaccine sites in Shelby County when the shots became available to the public.

But Wednesday, vaccine operations came to a halt after the Shelby County Health Department deciding to close the location.

The Germantown Baptist Church vaccine site soon followed with the location officially closing Friday.

Health department leaders say one reason for closing sites is because the vaccine is widely available at doctor’s offices and pharmacies.

The health department still plans to host pop-up vaccine sites around the county. There was one at Collage Dance Collective today.

Folks can also get vaccinated at the health department on Jackson Avenue.

SCHD Director Dr. Michelle Taylor says now is the time to get a booster.

“We know from early studies that the booster doses are providing some level of protection against the omicron variant. Many of you know that we already have two confirmed cases on the county and I suspect that we will have more in the days and weeks to come,” Dr. Taylor said.

With Christmas just a week away, Taylor anticipates that gatherings will contribute to an increase in cases. She encourages people to know their status before gathering.

“That means that you need to know the vaccination status of the folks that you will be gathering with for the holidays. But you also need to prepare to have a COVID test before gathering,” Dr. Taylor said.

The Health Department’s immunization clinic is open each day from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Everyone 5 and older can get vaccinated with no appointment needed.

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