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Pop-up vaccine sites benefit Memphis community

More than 2,000 people have been vaccinated at the GEMA Mass Vaccination Site at Gulfstream.
More than 2,000 people have been vaccinated at the GEMA Mass Vaccination Site at Gulfstream.(WTOC)
Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 10:12 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - About 30,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Shelby County over the past seven days.

Marine Veteran Talut Elamin got his first COVID-19 vaccine dose last month at the VA hospital.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Elamin. “But he knows many others in his South Memphis neighborhood have not gotten the vaccine.”

According to Shelby County health data, 38126 and 38106 have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city and coincidently some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection.

Wednesday, the largest mass vaccination site in the state opened.

More | 9 more deaths, 161 new COVID-19 cases reported in Shelby County

It is operated by the federal government at the Pipkin Building, but many appointments are left vacant.

“You know a lot of people in the inner city don’t have access, they don’t have computers, they don’t have access to what we take for granted,” said Pastor Marvin Sims of St. Mark’s Baptist Church on South Lauderdale.

His church is teaming up with Plaza Pharmacy to offer the Moderna vaccine to whoever wants it.

Sims said, “And so the Black church has always been the vehicle that has been about change and progress so if people in the community feel safe that the pastor is taking the shot that those in the faith based community is taking the shot hopefully those in the community will as well.”

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said peer-to-peer influence is the best way to increase uptake of the vaccine.

For more stories on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit wmcactionnews5.com/coronavirus.

Pop-up sites like the one at St Mark’s is so important because people can literally walk to their vaccine location.

No appointment is needed.

The vaccination event will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 940 Lauderdale.

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