Pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites offer shots for kids ages 5-11 this weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you want your children to be fully vaccinated before the holidays, time is running out.

Several efforts across Shelby County are being made to get more shots into the arms of some of the youngest residents before the holiday season.

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For the second weekend in a row, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is partnering with the City of Memphis and UTHSC to offer the vaccine at two different locations.

“This is an invisible enemy we got here, and you never know who has it and who doesn’t have it,” Louris Mitchell of Memphis said.

For Mitchell, the decision to get his 9-year-old daughter Jamella vaccinated against COVID was easy.

“I know this virus is serious. It’s killed close to one million here in this country. So, looking at that and the fact it’s circling around and now affecting the young children, it’s important to get vaccinated,” he said.

On Friday, he took her to Glenview Community Center to get her first dose.

With cases in Shelby County now on the rise again, Dr. Sandy Arnold with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital said getting more children vaccinated is crucial.

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“Unfortunately, cases are starting to tick back up. We have more cases at Le Bonheur, we have more cases in the community, and it’s really important for everyone to get vaccinated,” she said.

That’s why Le Bonheur is partnering with the City of Memphis and UTHSC to make the vaccine more available to children in the 5-to-11-year-old age group.

Friday and Saturday, parents can bring their kids to the Glenview and Hickory Hill community centers to get the approved lower dose of the vaccine without an appointment.

“We have lots of capacity, and we’re not using it. Also, if you’re worried it was going to be super busy and it’s going to be hard to get in and you’re going to have to wait a long time, don’t worry about it, just come on down,” Arnold said.

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As for parents like Mitchell, he’s happy one of the youngest members of his family is protected against the virus in time for the holidays.

“If you really love your children or you love people in your family, then you should encourage them to get the vaccine,” he said.

Vaccinations at the Glenview Community Center and the Hickory Hill Community Center are taking place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. You don’t need an appointment.

Shelby County Schools is partnering with the health department to host a vaccination event for their students Friday and Saturday at the board of education. Appointments for that event are required.