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Shelby County Health Department to resume COVID-19 vaccinations Jan. 12

Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 at 3:49 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department says it will resume COVID-19 vaccinations next week.

SCHD announced Friday confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Health of a weekly allotment of the vaccine for Shelby County residents.

The initial state commitment is for about 8,900 doses each week through the end of January. Each shipment is expected to be divided between the health department and hospital systems.

From the first of the weekly shipments, SCHD expects to administer up to 4,000 doses with the rest going to hospitals.

Based on the weekly allotment, SCHD will resume vaccinations on an appointment-only basis at the Pipkin Building at the Shelby County Fairgrounds each Tuesday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Appointments can be made via the online appointment app SignUpGenius at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/jancovid19signup.

If you don’t have internet access, you can make an appointment by calling (901) 222-SHOT beginning at 8 a.m. Monday.

The health department will add additional vaccination sites through the county as the vaccine campaign continues.

Throughout January, the vaccine is available to the following persons as defined by TDH in its COVID-19 vaccination plan:

All persons listed in the 1a1 groups, including:

  • First responders with direct public exposure including EMS, law enforcement, and firefighters
  • Staff working at COVID-19 mass testing sites
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities, residential homes for the aged and staff and residents of assisted living centers who have direct contact with residents or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Staff of other congregate care facilities such as homes for the intellectually or developmentally disabled, detention centers
  • Staff of Department of Children’s Services residential facilities, rehabilitation hospitals and psychiatric hospitals who have direct patient contact or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Home health care staff with direct patient contact
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities, residential homes for the aged and staff and residents of assisted living centers who have direct contact with residents or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Individuals > 18 years or older who cannot live independently due to serious chronic medical condition or intellectual or developmental disability
  • Providers of K-12 or university student health services who have direct patient contact or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Funeral/mortuary service providers
  • Health care workers, including:
  • Individuals age 75 and over

When you arrive for your vaccine, be prepared with identification and proof of eligibility, including proof of age, a professional license or a letter from your employer.

While Shelby County will receive more vaccines next week, state health officials said the number of doses available statewide is less than originally expected.

“We order every single dose that is made available to us when it’s made available to us,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. “Then our goal is to get it into an arm as soon as it gets into the state.”

Piercey said the Department of Health orders its allotment every Thursday, with vaccines typically shipping Monday and arriving to their destination by Tuesday. She said the state now expects to receive just over 80,000 doses a week, which is down from the 90,000 doses for which they originally planned.

“Over the last two weeks we’ve been talking about the vaccine supply, the urgency and importance of increasing the supply of vaccine in our community but of course that isn’t entirely up to the Tennessee Department of Health either,” said David Sweat Chief of Epidemiology with the Shelby County Health Department.

Shelby County added nearly 900 new cases Friday and another 19 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,003 people who have died from the virus in Shelby County.

The Health Department said the community needs to stay the course. Right now the Centers For Disease Control has the case rate in Shelby County at just over 60 people per 100,000 much lower than the state average of nearly 93 people per 100,000.

“We do believe that reflects the impact of things like the mask ordinance and other measures that have been taken at a policy level here,” Sweat said.

In comparison, Arkansas has an average of 95 cases per 100,000 people, the fourth highest in the nation, and Mississippi has 75 per 100,000.

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