MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The latest public vaccination site opened Friday with booked appointments.
Whitehaven’s Southwest Community College campus is the site of the new administration center.
WMC seen a lot of kinks get worked out at other public sites, but we saw people get checked in and vaccinated at the site Friday, its first day of operation, in just minutes.
Appointments available this month at the Whitehaven site have already been booked.
Thursday, the Shelby County Health Department opened vaccines up to those 70 and older and on the same day opened more appointments at the Pipkin Building.
“I was very excited,” Paula Amrod said.
Paula Amrod was able to get one of those appointments after her age group became eligible, and was vaccinated within minutes of showing up to her booked time slot.
“Maybe 15 minutes or something like that,” Amrod said.
That is much different than last week at the Pipkin Building where extra appointments drove the line out onto the street and created hours of waiting.
The Shelby County Health Department did report Friday some people were mistakenly turned away from their second dose appointments at the Pipkin Building but said those individuals were being contacted to come back and complete the process.
A process that will continue for months.
“I feel happy to receive the vaccine and I thank the Lord for it,” one woman said.
“I’m hoping enough people get the vaccine so we can return to more normal,” Amrod said.
SCHD said Dr. Alisa Haushalter had a meeting Friday with local hospital networks about how they can start vaccinating the public.
Haushalter has said there need to be ways to get more of the allocations to hospitals to assist in public vaccinations.
The Tennessee Department of Health has sent two letters to hospitals emphasizing their important roles in vaccinating the general public.
WMC Action News 5 reached out to all four Shelby County hospital networks about the letter.
St. Francis released this statement:
“Saint Francis Healthcare is currently in Phase 1 of our COVID-19 vaccination plan. This means we are vaccinating front line staff and physicians. We have started planning for community vaccinations. We will keep everyone informed as we are able to expand vaccination capability in collaboration with state and local leaders and organizations. Please refer to our hospital websites and Facebook pages for information as plans become finalized. The most effective safety measures we can take against COVID-19 continue to be wearing a mask, washing our hands, and maintaining social distance. We remind our community not to delay care. Our hospitals are open, safe and ready to care for you.”
Regional One replied, “I did confirm that we have received the request. While we are looking into the possibilities, nothing has been planned yet.”
Baptist Memorial said in a statement:
“We did receive the letter, and we do have plans to offer the vaccine to the community if we find out we can get a steady stream of vaccine supply.”
We have not received a direct response about the letter from Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare as of Friday afternoon.