No appointment needed this afternoon for COVID-19 vaccine at Pipkin Building; MATA giving free rides

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID-19 vaccines are available Monday with no appointment from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pipkin Building, and you can get a free ride to get your vaccine.

The City is offering vaccinations without an appointment during this time at the federally run mass vaccine site to get more people vaccinated.

Appointments are still required from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The City plans to keep this schedule until further notice.

FAQ: Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in the Mid-South

The City of Memphis also announced new hours for the Community Vaccine Center at the Pipkin Building:

The new site has the ability to get 3,000 shots in arms each day. While they’ve not reached that number just yet, they are moving in the right direction as more people stream in to get their vaccine.

“Hopefully, we will get to that 3,000 vaccine mark today, and I hope that continues into the future,” said Darrell Habisch, with FEMA. “What that does is, it frees up the additional 1,500 or so shots to go out to other community sites, so it’s this is a win-win.”

The Shelby County Health Department says 149,994 people in Shelby County are fully vaccinated.

The CDC says that 700,000 people must be fully vaccinated in Shelby County to reach herd immunity in our community.

Friday, the county was about 21 percent of the way there. While we still have a ways to go, the hope is opening for new and longer hours will enable more people to get vaccinated IF they want the shot.

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“It’s an easy process even if you go. There are appointments available today so if you go ahead go online, take a look at it. All you need is that registration number when you come in, and we’ll take care of it,” Habisch said.

Habisch is one of the countless other federal workers who’ve been helping to operate the site since it opened, with the City of Memphis leading the way to get Memphis vaccinated.

“It’s really a very simple process, and this is the most smooth running site I’ve seen. Everything runs just like it’s supposed to run, keeping people safe, socially distanced, and getting them vaccinated,” said Habisch.

Doctors also suggest that during the 15-minute wait time after you get that first shot, go ahead and make your appointment to get the second dose. That way, you won’t miss out on being fully vaccinated. And if you forget that second dose, doctors say get it done as soon as you remember.

“I am not a doctor, but I do know there is a process, and you just need to follow that. If you’ve had the first shot and it’s even been two or three months, go ahead and get the second shot,” said Habisch.

Memphis Area Transit Authority, MATA is also helping people get to this site to get vaccinated, and if you provide proof of your appointment, we are told the ride is free.

To plan your trip, visit matatransit.com or call 901-497-1598.

Bottom line: health officials say they don’t want any barriers or obstacles to keep people from getting vaccinated.