City of Memphis takes over vaccine distribution

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:17 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tuesday was the first day the city of Memphis took the lead in coordinating the vaccination efforts at the Pipkin Building.

City leaders said they were pleased with their first-day performance which they said is similar to what they’ve seen elsewhere.

The city of Memphis has been leading this vaccination site on Appling for several weeks now.

Shatamara Davis said the wait time to receive her first vaccine dose was short and the process was simple.

“It was very easy,” she said. “I signed up online but It was canceled last week because of the weather. They rescheduled for me automatically and I came out today to get my vaccine.”

State Investigation: 2,400 vaccine doses expired in Shelby County

The state department of health is calling on the city to take a bigger role in the vaccination process.

The news comes after the state discovered a number of irregularities in the county health department’s vaccination process.

“The ultimate goal is to be able to vaccinate 40-50,000 people each week and we feel confident we have the right model to do it,” said Jim Strickland.

But there is some important housekeeping to tend to first, like the hotline number used to make vaccination appointments by phone.

County health leaders said the call volume into 222-SHOT overwhelmed the system.

Strickland is looking into possibly partnering with the University of Memphis or other vendors to handle the onslaught of calls.

Read here for the latest local coronavirus updates.

For those making appointments online, the city also plans to change the sign-up system.

They hope to have a new system in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Mayor Strickland said they will also be cracking down on line skipping.

Staff will be checking for proof of appointment, making sure no one gets in line more than an hour early.

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