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Shelby County ramps up efforts to boost vaccination numbers

WMC Action News 5 Memphis logo WMC Action News 5 Memphis 4/16/2021 Kelli Cook
a traffic light on a city street: The line for vaccine appointments at the Pipkin Building Wednesday looped through multiple parking lots before spilling out onto neighboring streets. © Provided by WMC Action News 5 Memphis The line for vaccine appointments at the Pipkin Building Wednesday looped through multiple parking lots before spilling out onto neighboring streets.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Wednesday about 1,600 shots were administered at the Pipkin Building at the Liberty Bowl, that’s the second-highest total since opening last week.

However, that’s well below this site’s capacity of 3,000 doses daily.

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Health officials are looking for ways to create better access to the vaccine.

For instance, having a car isn’t a requirement for vaccination at the drive-thru site at the Pipkin Building.

The facility can handle 15-20 walk-ins at a time.

MATA is also providing free rides to the FEMA site.

“They can walk in and get their vaccine inside of the pipkin building and then be shuttled back to the bus stop again,” said Memphis Fire Director Gina Sweat.

We checked with MATA and found Monday through Wednesday of this week only 32 people reserved bus rides to the FEMA vaccination site.

City officials are well aware that having the means to get to the site may not be the only setback.

It’s also scheduling.

On Friday no appointment will be needed.

Sweat said, “We’ve been hearing loud and clear that people don’t like being stuck to an appointment time.

City officials are also aware carving out enough time in a day to get a vaccine might be difficult for some due to work hours which is why they are encouraging private industries to create vaccination pods if possible.

FedEx will have a vaccination event on-site at the Hub in Memphis Wednesday, April 21 for their employees.

A FedEx spokesperson said, “We strongly encourage all team members to take advantage of vaccination opportunities as they become available.”

The same is happening in North Mississippi.

More | Even without J&J doses, vaccination efforts for homeless and homebound continue

“We’ve talked to the state about going out to rural areas and taking our show on the road basically,” said Chris Ware, Chief Operating officer at Panola Medical Center in Batesville.

Ware said at his facility they’ve been offering drive-thru vaccinations for several weeks, but now at least two local industries have asked for onsite vaccinations.

“It will help them. They won’t have to leave work. They won’t have to clock out, clock back in and lose time, just go on site and do it there in their break room or wherever they want us to do it,” said Ware.

Friday and Saturday if you get a shot at the Pipkin building you can also take home a $20 Kroger, Walmart or McDonalds gift cards while supplies last.

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WMC Action News 5 Memphis

WMC Action News 5 Memphis
WMC Action News 5 Memphis
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