NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Nashville Public Health Department leaders encouraged people to get the COVID-19 shot now that it’s available for more of the population as vaccination rates slowed in recent weeks.
“With the slowdown, it’s harder we keep trying and keep taking a lot of the vaccine out into the community,” said MPHD Interim Director Dr. Gill Wright.
Vanderbilt University was just one of the locations that is now vaccinating children in Nashville after emergency use authorization was given for the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 12 years of age and older.
The Metro Nashville Public School District sent a message to families Thursday saying parents can schedule the vaccine at the same time as their child.
“We have been working with Vanderbilt to give parents options for vaccinating students eligible to receive the vaccine,” MNPS Spokesman Sean Braisted stated in an email to News 2.
Vanderbilt University if offering vaccines for children 12-15 years old at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and at the One Hundred Oaks Mall location.
“The vaccines are how we’ll put this pandemic behind us, together,” the email to parents read. “Thank you for helping to protect yourself and our community.”
Metro Public Health is having several vaccination events that don’t require appointments. Dr. Wright said Davidson county is now number five in county vaccination rankings statewide with only 8 counties above 40% vaccination.
“There are a lot of people that will get the vaccine, but it’s not the same priority for them, so that’s why we’re going out into these communities and we’re working individually to get people vaccinated in those communities. It is much slower in that regard, we’re having to deal more one on one than large groups at a time. But we still feel it’s important, it’s still something we need to do,” said Dr. Wright.
He explained that a big plus is they don’t need to separate a child’s COVID shot from their other necessary vaccinations.
“Originally the thought was you were going to have to separate it by 2 weeks before and after you got the COVID vaccine from any other vaccinations that might be normal childhood vaccinations so that going away is great because we can now give their normal 7th grade vaccines, tetanus shot at the same time we give their COVID shot,” explained Dr. Wright.
The drive-thru site on Murfreesboro Pike at the old K-Mart and Recover Health on Jefferson street are two more Nashville locations offering the vaccine for children.
Metro Public Health is also offering several vaccination events for the community.