City of Memphis holds youth symposium to encourage vaccination

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Across Shelby County, nearly 40% of kids between 12 and 17 are fully vaccinated. While that’s encouraging, it’s far from the goal. The City of Memphis held a virtual symposium in an effort to boost vaccine turnout.

“I have three kids over the age of 12 and they have all been vaccinated,” said Shannon Davis, Germantown.

SEE MORE: Memphis leaders reach out to parents on COVID-19 vaccines for kids

And, Shannon Davis said once the Food and Drug Administration approves the Pfizer and Bio NTech vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11, her 10-year-old child will get vaccinated as well.

“They’ve had all their other vaccines. I don’t see this one being any different,” said Davis.

The City of Memphis is working to convince other parents to get their kids vaccinated like Davis.

“Only about 40-percent of kids in your age group 12 to 17 are vaccinated, but we can get that number up,” said Michelle Taylor, MD/ SCHD Director.

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To do so, the city targeted students through a virtual symposium Friday morning. Health experts informed and answered kids’ questions about the vaccine.

“Be what I know you are, trusted advisors in your family, trusted sources of information among your friends and get the correct information out there,” said Taylor.

SEE MORE: Family urging children to get vaccinated after pregnant teen dies from COVID-19

County leaders said the goal is to have 70% of the population vaccinated. Getting kids vaccinated will help the county reach that goal.

“It’s an easy process. You roll up, roll up your sleeves and get vaccinated,” said Davis.

While nearly 40% of kids 12 and up are vaccinated. Data show 47% have received at least one dose. There are more than 160 providers in the county offering the vaccine.