MATA providing free fares for vaccine appointments

COVID-19 task force update 4/8/2021

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis-Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force announced a partnership Thursday with MATA on free transportation to vaccine appointments at the mass vaccination site at the fairgrounds.

Doug MeGowen, City of Memphis chief operating officer, said anyone eligible for MATA Plus services can call 497-1598 starting Sunday morning and say you need a ride to get a vaccine. At that time, they’ll automatically schedule you for an appointment.

During the ride you’ll receive forms to fill out on the way to the vaccine appointment so there’s no wait at the site. You’ll also receive special access into the fairgrounds to get your vaccine.

MeGowen said other MATA bus riders who use the bus for a vaccine appointment will receive a voucher for a free fare for that ride and a second voucher for your second vaccination appointment.

Watch the task force’s live briefing above or click here to watch in the app.

MeGowen said more than 400,000 shots have been administered in Shelby County, and progress is being made but the work isn’t done. Yesterday, he said, more than 1,000 appointments were no shows and there are still thousands of appointments available this week for first and second doses at the mass vaccination site.

He emphasized that no vaccines were wasted but they were lost opportunities to vaccinate people in the community.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday no appointments are necessary to receive a vaccine at the Pipkin Building.

Visit covid19.memphistn.gov or call 222-SHOT to make an appointment.

The health department reported 152 new cases Thursday but no additional deaths. David Sweat, Shelby County health officer, said every case but one identified yesterday was the U.K. variant.

Shelby County has had 92,058 cases since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 1,575 deaths. There are currently 1,131 active cases in the county.

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