SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department started COVID-19 vaccinations on December 28, 2020. New data obtained by WMC Action News 5 shows exactly who has gotten the shot over the last 36 days.
There is early optimism from SCHD leaders, one month into the vaccination program.
- 62,477 vaccine doses have now been administered
- 47,200 first doses
- 15,277 second doses
Women in Shelby County have been getting vaccinated at nearly twice the rate of men, 63% to 36%. And information provided by a source on the Memphis-Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force reveals the largest group vaccinated so far, more than 18% of shots, went to those aged 75 to 84.
The next largest group is 55 to 64-year-old residents who account for 16.4% of those vaccinated, 15% are those aged 45 to 54.
Nearly a third of those vaccinated are 25 to 44. Only 11.9% are in the 65 to 74 age range.
The state added 70-plus to the eligibility list this week, although SCHD leaders say that group won’t be eligible for the vaccine in Shelby County until late February or early March because of limited supply.
”Seventy to 74-year-olds have a 40% increased risk of hospitalization,” said Dr. Lisa Piercey, head of the Tennessee Department of Health. “And a 70% increased risk of death, more so than those just five years younger than them. 65 and above are high risk, yes. But the 70 to 74 age group is still substantially higher risk than that of 65 to 69.”
Here’s a look at the vaccinations by race: Nearly 39% of shots were given to white residents,18% to Black, 17% to multiracial or Asian and more than a quarter of the vaccine doses, 25.8%, went to those whose race is unknown.
SCHD is actively looking for more inner-city vaccine sites.
“Remember we’re thinking about equity and access,” said SCHD’s head of vaccine distribution, Dr. Judy Martin, “So we’ve got to be focused on locations that are going to be accessible to the people who live in Shelby County.”
The goal is to vaccinate 70% of the nearly one million residents in Shelby County. That’s 656,000 people. SCHD is 7% of the way there.
“We’re making good progress,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph during Tuesday’s task force briefing. “We must stay the course.”
SCHD said vaccines for teachers, who are in group 1B, are also expected in March.