COVID-19 vaccination centers expanding across Shelby County

COVID-19 vaccination centers expanding to rural, suburban areas

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Officials with the City of Germantown and the Town of Collierville have been working together with the Shelby County Health Department for weeks to open a new vaccination center at Germantown Baptist Church.

The Shelby County Health Department said this is one step in a larger effort to expand the reach of the vaccine in other parts of the county.

The infrastructure is already in place, with tents and driving lines marked by cones, ready to turn the back parking lot at the Germantown Baptist Church into a vaccine center.

The Shelby County Health Department said this distribution center will administer second doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine only from Tuesday, February 2nd through Saturday, February 6th, and will offer first doses of the vaccine in the future.

People WMC Action News 5 spoke to in Germantown said it would be convenient to get their vaccine shots here.

“I think it’s a good to make them as accessible as possible so that it makes it easier for people to get to. Particularly older people who may have problems traveling than younger. I think it’s a very good idea,” said John Phillips, a Germantown resident.

“When it becomes available to you, do you think that’s the place you’ll go to get your vaccine,” asked Cameron Hagen, who also lives in Germantown. “Probably if there’s nowhere closer. It’s a good idea, it’s close by, people know where it is,” she said.

The vaccination center at Germantown Baptist Church is part of the health department’s larger plan to expand the number of vaccine locations across the county.

On February 5th, a vaccination center is opening at the Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Whitehaven campus on Finley Road.

The health department said several other sites for vaccine distribution are also being evaluated at this time.

“I think it’s stand to be potentially very helpful to have many places to give the vaccine but up to now we really haven’t gotten to the point where that is maximally helpful,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld, Infectious Disease Expert with Baptist Memorial Healthcare.

Dr.Threlkeld said it’s a good idea to get additional vaccination center infrastructures up and running but the major hurdle remains the number of vaccines locally and nationwide.

“I would love to get to the point where we must have more centers to be able to give all the vaccines that have to be able to give to people,” said Dr. Threlkeld. “And you hope that’s coming soon. We hope the supply of vaccine will really be ramped up.”

The Shelby County Health Department said when the Germantown Baptist Church does open for its first doses, an appointment will be available for everyone in Shelby County.

Sign up dates will be announced online soon.

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