Health department vaccine rollout continues for first responders

Shelby County first responders receive vaccine

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department continues its vaccination rollout.

This week, it’s administering vaccines to frontline health care workers and first responders like police, fire and EMT personnel.

They’re among the first to get the vaccine because the nature of their jobs means they must encounter different people day-to-day.

The vaccinations are being administered at drive-thru site locations near Sycamore View Road and Summer Avenue and at Lindenwood Christian Church on Union.

First responders receive first dose of vaccine today

“Only those who are invited or fall in that category can get vaccinated at those two sites,” said Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter.

Other groups will be able to get vaccinated at a later time.

Haushalter says they vaccinated 800 people on Monday, including top Memphis and Shelby County brass like Memphis police director Mike Rallings and Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner.

She says another 700 were scheduled to get vaccinated on Tuesday.

“I want to thank our first responders, a law enforcement personnel, and others in the 1a1 category for showing up and getting their vaccine and demonstrating the importance of getting vaccinated and knowing that that’s really the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Haushalter.

Haushalter says they hope to get everyone in the first group vaccinated by mid-January, but it depends on how many doses the county gets and when it gets them.

Tennessee's COVID-19 vaccine distribution timeline

Haushalter says this changes every day.

But it will be a while before most people are able to get vaccinated.

Haushalter says the goal is to get 70% of the county’s population vaccinated, but she admits it will be a while.

“We anticipate we will be involved well into 2021,” said Haushalter. “At the current time, we’re actually looking about six months out.”

Haushalter says they hope to have over 3,000 first responders vaccinated by the end of this week.

She’s also trying to ease concerns people have about getting the vaccine, reassuring them that it is safe.

For more information on the vaccine visit Shelby.Community.

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