County leaders concerned not enough first responders are getting vaccinated

Watch: County leaders concerned not enough first responders are getting vaccinated

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Some Shelby County leaders are concerned first responders are not getting their shots even though they are approved to do so.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald said only 40 percent of his first responders received the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said only 500 deputies out of 2,000 on the force signed up to get vaccinated.

Content Continues Below

“I just frankly wish more of my first responders would have taken the vaccine,” said Mayor McDonald.

McDonald said he knows the vaccine will protect first responders who are exposed to people every day and said it will help us get back to normal.

He told FOX13 some employees have been in quarantine two to three times already.

“If you don’t take a vaccine, I’m not going to pay you while you are off for quarantine because you didn’t get the vaccine multiple times,” McDonald said. “It’s just something we are working on now.”

FOX13 asked Memphis Police how many officers were vaccinated, but we were told MPD does not keep track of this.

Meanwhile, at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 500 of 2,000 deputies signed up to get the vaccine, according to a spokesperson.

“There is probably a lot of miscommunication, a lot of rumors and I think we probably just have to do a PR campaign if you will,” said Commissioner Van Turner.

Turner said these numbers are concerning. With 8,900 new doses expected each week from the state, Turner said he hopes people will change their minds to keep themselves and the community safe.

“In order for us to reopen our country, to normalize our society again, we will have to be inoculated against this virus and take these measures if we want to return to our normal lives,” Turner said.

FOX13 asked the Shelby County Health Department how many first responders were vaccinated but a spokesperson told us they don’t have that number.

On Monday, the Fire Association President plans to share information about how many firefighters have been vaccinated so far.

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App. You can also follow FOX13 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.