Here’s what you should know about vaccine distribution in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This week the City of Memphis quickly enacted a plan to take over vaccine distribution in Shelby County.

City officials said the transition was “seamless,” and that residents will not need to do anything differently to get vaccinated, according to a report from the Commercial Appeal.

On Thursday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said that over 6,000 vaccine doses were transported to eight sites for distribution.

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Two of those sites are specifically for teachers, according to the CA.

Next week, the city will distribute over 17,000 first doses and 13,000 second doses.

Strickland said vaccines can be scheduled via Signup Genius, which can be found HERE or HERE.

You can also schedule vaccines by calling 901-222-7468.

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The city will transition to new scheduling software soon, according to the CA.

The Shelby County Health Department is still in charge of public health decisions, while the City’s role is strictly vaccine distribution.

Strickland said people can expect a small change at the Pipkin Building - appointments will be checked and paperwork will be handled in line to speed up the vaccination process, according to the CA.

Tennessee health officials said this week that SCHD will be cut out of the vaccine distribution process locally, and doses will be rerouted to the City of Memphis, local hospitals and pharmacies.

City COO Doug McGowen will be the vaccine accountability partner going forward. He will be accountable for inventory, distribution and performance of staff at vaccine sites, according to the CA.

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Director of Fire Services Gina Sweat will be McGowen’s second-in-command.

On Wednesday the county’s vaccine inventory was moved to Regional One for storage.

This week a state health official attributed the county’s vaccine wastage to poor record keeping, a lack of a system to track doses that were close to expiring and poor communication, according to the CA.

SCHD also reportedly had over 50,000 vaccine doses stockpiled, a major violation.

Local health and city officials have stressed that vaccines appointments are available and ongoing.