As COVID-19 cases decline, Shelby County shifting vaccination efforts

Published: Mar. 19, 2022 at 2:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Cases of COVID-19 continue to decline in Shelby County and across much of the Mid-South, but the virus hasn’t completely disappeared.

From March 12-18, Shelby County averaged 23 new cases per day, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

Tennessee averaged 469 new cases each day from March 6-12, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

The Citadel of Deliverance Church of God in Christ opened a free COVID-19 testing center Saturday on Hacks Cross Boulevard.

“We walk you through it and you basically go ahead and administer it yourself,” said Dr. Sharli Adair with Citadel of Deliverance. “If [COVID-19] rises again, what is most important is that you know your status.”

On the vaccination front, the county is 80 percent of the way toward its goal of having 700,000 Shelby County citizens vaccinated.

Because of expanded vaccination capacity, the Shelby County Health Department says it’s shifting its vaccination efforts to target “under-resourced communities and at-risk populations.”

Because of that, the vaccination site at Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Whitehaven Center will close after next Saturday.

“As demand at that site has dropped, the Health Department will now focus its efforts on smaller pop-up community events that target specific populations throughout Shelby County,” said Dr. Michelle Taylor, director of the Shelby County Health Department.

The department says the Whitehaven site provided some 43,000 vaccinations since it opened in February of last year, including 20,000 first doses, 18,000 second doses, and about 4,000 booster shots.

The health department says Pfizer vaccinations for anyone 12 and older will be available at the Whitehaven site drive-thru on the following days:

· Friday, March 18, 2022 (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

· Saturday, March 19, 2022 (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

· Friday, March 25, 2022 (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

· Saturday, March 26, 2022 (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Whether it’s getting vaccinated or tested, doctors say it’s important to remember COVID-19 is still a potential threat to people.

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