Memphis officials want federal government to send vaccines directly to city

Push to have vaccines delivered directly to Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis city officials plan to ask the federal government to send COVID-19 vaccines directly to the city, bypassing state officials completely.

Officials say there just aren’t enough vaccines right now for everyone who wants one. Complicating matters, the county has to wait on the state to allocate vaccines each week.

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“We are only receiving 8,000 to 9,000 doses on average a week,” said Memphis city councilman Chase Carlise.

That’s why on Tuesday, the Memphis City Council passed a resolution asking Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to ask the federal government to start sending vaccines directly to the city -- going around the state.

Memphis City Councilman Jeff Warren is a key member of the city-county COVID-19 task force.

“I think what this is designed to do is to get us the ability to directly receive vaccines from the federal government without going through the state and that bureaucracy and allowing us to use what our COVID task force has developed to distribute the vaccine much more efficiently in the Memphis metro area,” said Warren.

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The mayors of 22 cities across the country are asking the Biden-Harris administration to adopt a national vaccine distribution plan for cities, which includes sending the vaccines directly to cities.

Strickland told council members their resolution is something he backs 100%.

“We will vigorously pursue vaccine wherever we can get it, and whether it’s given to us directly, to Shelby County directly, we’re all on one team as a joint task force so we agree with everything y’all said,” said Strickland.

Every member of the council voted in support of the resolution.

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