COVID-19 variants circulate in Tennessee as mass vaccination event kicks off

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The week-long “Sleeves Up” mass vaccination event, underway at Hadley Park Community Center in North Nashville, is another way to ensure every community has access to potentially life-saving immunity.

“I heard this morning that they were giving out shots at 9 O’clock and it was free. So, I’m here,” said Nashville resident Sharon General.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease doctor, David Aronoff, says it’s more important than ever to ensure every Tennessean has access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Right now, we really are in a bit of a race,” warns Dr. Aronoff.

Tennessee is now one of fourteen states to report cases of all three COVID-19 variants.

“We’re seeing a lot of circulation of some of these new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are not only more contagious,” explains Dr. Aronoff, “But some of them appear to be more dangerous as well.”

Especially for those who face barriers when it comes to accessing and scheduling a vaccination appointment.

“Accessibility means having vaccines near, close, through a trusted provider. So that’s what we saw bringing it here to Hadley,” said Katina Beard, CEO of Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center.

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From availability to current phases, find vaccine information for every Tennessee county using News 2’s Vaccine Tracker map.


For many in this community, transportation complicates the process. Thanks to a program offered by the Tennessee Department of Health, people can now schedule a free ride. The Tennessee Transportation Association will connect residents with local transit agencies.

“We bring people here, and then we take them back home, and make sure they get their vaccine on time. Without transportation, they wouldn’t be able to make it here,” said Abdul Kidar Mohomed, a driver with Mobility Solutions.

Event organizers expect to administer 2,500 Johnson & Johnson Vaccines during the week-long event. It’s a welcomed site for those longing for protection against COVID-19 in a familiar location.

“I think everyone should get a vaccine,” says Antioch resident Saeed Leavell, “Because we have to be safe.”

Sign up to reserve your spot by clicking here.

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