COVID-19 vaccines roll out in Shelby County


By Sherman Greer and Suzanne Gibson
January 21, 2021

The Shelby County Health Department began vaccinating for COVID-19 on Jan. 1, 2021. The vaccines will be distributed in three phases beginning with those who are either at the greatest risk of contracting the coronavirus or those who are at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill.  Phases tend to vary by county as they are based on population, supply and record of increased cases.  At this time, Shelby County is concurrently vaccinating groups within Phases 1a1 and 1a2.  

According to the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, Phase 1a1 includes: 

  • First responders with direct public exposure including EMS, law enforcement, and fire fighters
  • Staff working at COVID-19 mass testing sites
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities, residential homes for the aged and staff and residents of assisted living centers who have direct contact with residents or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Staff of other congregate care facilities such as homes for the intellectually or developmentally disabled, detention centers, Staff of Department of Children’s Services residential facilities, rehabilitation hospitals and psychiatric hospitals who have direct patient contact or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Home health care staff with direct patient contact
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities, residential homes for the aged and staff and residents of assisted living centers who have direct contact with residents or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • Providers of K-12 or university student health services who have direct patient contact or contact with potentially infectious materials

Note: Southwest Campus Police and Public Safety Officers are first responders and are currently eligible to receive vaccinations.

Phase 1a2 includes:

  • Outpatient healthcare workers
  • All other healthcare workers (administrative and support) as well as all employees 75 years of age or older

Eligible participants are being contacted through their employer/facility and are required to sign up online for an appointment and bring an employee badge or ID to the appointment. Once this phase has been completed, the health department and partnering agencies will begin vaccinating other groups, which include other health care workers who have direct patient exposure. For the most updated information, visit:https://covid19.memphistn.gov/vaccine/. 

Shelby County does not have available appointments for the months of January or February, however, slots will open again once the next vaccine delivery date is established by the state of Tennessee. To be notified when appointments are available, or to register to receive a notification when your vaccination phase becomes available, visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/jancovid19signup or call (901) 222-7468. 

A permanent vaccination site has been established at the Pipkin Building in Memphis at 940 Early Maxwell Blvd. (inside the Fairgrounds). More sites are expected to open and will be listed online at https://covid19.memphistn.gov/category/announcements/. 

To learn more about planned phases for COVID-19 vaccine administration, visit:https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-20/02-COVID-Dooling.pdf 

For more information about Southwest’s COVID-19 response, visit the College’s Coronavirus website at www.southwest.tn.edu/coronavirus.

 

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