MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As the Modera vaccine begins shipments, local healthcare facilities continue to vaccinate using their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Saturday, UT Health Sciences Center started vaccinations which included hundreds of students.
UTHSC prioritized third and fourth-year students and physician assistants along with other frontline workers in its first round of vaccinations Saturday.
“We’re grateful UT has prioritized residents,” UTHSC resident Deeyar Itayen said. “I know it’s not the case around the country.”
“PA and third and fourth-year medical students are involved in clinical care every day in the hospitals,” Catherine Womack, UTHSC Associate Dean of Student Affairs, said. “They see patients with attendees and provide very important care.”
UTHSC received 2,900 doses in its first round of the Pfizer vaccine. Along with students, non-medical first responders like campus police, attending physicians and other frontline healthcare professionals were able to get vaccinated this weekend.
Head of the school’s pediatrics department and one of the COVID-19 joint task force members, Dr. Jon McCullers, chose to get vaccinated Saturday.
The task force has reported more than half of the COVID-19 cases in Shelby County have been people younger than 45, but more than three-quarters of the deaths are in the senior population. Many here believe everyone should get vaccinated, but are happy to see the younger population start to do so.
‘At least we feel a lot more assured we’re not passing on the virus to the older population or those who are at more of a risk of fatal complications from the virus,” Dr. Josh Ford said.
“I think it’s important for the entire population to get vaccinated,” Itayen said.
Vaccinations will continue at UTHSC for those who qualify throughout the weekend. They plan to use all the doses within the next two weeks.