City of Memphis hosts vaccine pop up site to reach low uptake locations

Updated: Mar. 12, 2021 at 5:25 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The City of Memphis has opened a new vaccine pop-up site to try to reach locations where there is less intake of the COVID-19 vaccine thus far.

Everyone we spoke to said the process went smoothly Friday at the Memphis Fire Academy.

The City of Memphis said other pop-up sites are coming areas that have seen less vaccine administered.

The City of Memphis said the area of Frayser surrounding the brand new pop-up vaccine location at the Memphis Fire Academy is one of the areas with the lowest uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine so far.

That’s why they’re targeting this area to administer 2,000 vaccines Friday and Saturday and another 2,000 shots next weekend.

“Doing the pop-ups gives us the ability to be precise and pivot and go where we see the lowest uptake,” Doug McGowen, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Memphis said.

People WMC Action News 5 spoke to Friday at the pop-up site came from nearby neighborhoods to get their first dose of the vaccine at a convenient location.

“I think it’s a great idea to reach out to the people that they couldn’t reach at first so I think it’s working great,” Byron Cross said.

“I mean it’s awesome. Being born and raised in Memphis I know there may be transportation issues,” Maven Rucker said.

“The pop-ups give us the ability because not everyone can get to the fixed site to go to where people are that need it to increase that uptake,” McGowen said.

The City is planning to host more pop-up centers.

Another pop-up site is opening Saturday at the Greater Community Temple on Winchester with up to 1,000 vaccinations available.

That site is intended to reach the Hickory Hill and Parkway Villages neighborhoods that also have low vaccine numbers.

The City said they are focusing part of their vaccine effort on reaching black communities and they’ve seen some progress.

“Approximately two weeks ago about 20 percent of the total vaccinated population was African American, this week it’s approximately 30 percent, that’s certainly not victory that’s just a step in the right direction,” McGowen said.

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The City of Memphis said they have had trouble this afternoon transitioning to the state of Tennessee sign-up system both online and in the call center.

They are recommending right now that people call the State’s vaccine line at 1-866-442-5301 to get an appointment for next week.

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