City of Memphis preparing for thousands more vaccines in weekly shipments

Shelby Co. vaccine inventory expected to grow as eligibility increases

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Everyone 16 and older in Shelby County becomes eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. Demand is expected to go up again and going into Easter Weekend well over 300,000 people will have been vaccinated in Shelby County.

Our excess supply of vaccine will have finally been exhausted.

“On Easter and MLK weekend there will be little [vaccine] throughout the public pods but pharmacies and clinics will still be offering the vaccine during that period of time,” said Memphis Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen.

More: Tipton, Shelby County leading the state in vaccine eligibility, demand goes up

Tipton, Shelby County leading the state in vaccine eligibilty

Shelby County has been getting about 30,000 first and second doses combined every week, plus running through inventory already on hand. When that supply runs out by early April the county is set to get in even larger weekly shipments.

With those 16 and older becoming eligible on Friday it will be needed

“If the messaging we receive and the calls we receive from organizations and individuals are any indication, there will be plenty of demand, and it may be several weeks before it tapers off if there is any,” said McGowen.

Even with an increase in demand expected, McGowen is trying to get the word out to as many people as he can to get signed up. The city is trying to reach more in the Latinx community.

City of Memphis preparing for increased demand vaccine expansion

Only about two percent of all vaccines given in the state have been given to people identifying as Hispanic. McGowen said the scheduling website will be translated to Spanish and they’re getting more bilingual people at the call center as well as setting up vaccination pods in communities with a large Latinx population.

“We’re partnering with churches who serve the Latinx population or have a large Hispanic congregation so we can get the message out that way,” said McGowen. “We’re actually hosting a pop-up site with one of those churches next week.”

For a link to vaccination appointments click HERE.

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