COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out across Shelby County

MEMPHIS,Tenn. — It’s been a week since the Shelby County Health Department opened two drive-thru sites where the vaccine is being distributed.

Health department officials are urging those who are eligible for the vaccine to make appointments.

While it is accurate that people without appointments have gotten the vaccine, that can cause delays and long lines.

“The process was very smooth and the volunteers and workers were very friendly,” Shelby County resident Randy Ramsey said.

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Ramsey got his first dose of the vaccine Sunday at Lindenwood Church on Union Ave.

“I made an appointment once they announced that people over 75 can make one online,” he said.

Director of the Shelby County Health Department Alsia Haushalter said on Saturday, more than 2,100 people received injections.

She said the department is focusing on vaccinating first responders, healthcare workers and those who work and live in nursing homes.

She told FOX 13 that they’ve also started to vaccinate funeral home and mortuary workers and people older than 75 years old when there is availability.

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“It is actually going to take us many months to get through all of the people in Shelby County,” she said. “We are using appointments this week, but in the future, we will have opportunities where people don’t have to have appointments.”

Haushalter said the health department is working to get the vaccine out to everyone who is eligible.

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“One of the things we will do differently next week is actually going into the nursing homes and adult homes because those are the people who cannot come out,” she said. “We will also be announcing some other drive-thru sites as the week goes on.”

Meanwhile, those like Ramsey said he’s looking forward to his second dose at the end of the month.

“I think anybody who has concerns about it has unfounded concerns, because this disease is a lot worse that the vaccine,” he said.

Health department officials said they will be looking at how things went last week and will make an estimate on the number of vaccinations they hope to distribute each day moving forward.