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'It definitely re-energized our mission' | Our Best Shot campaign encouraged by recent results

The group goes door to door to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, especially targeting Shelby County's lowest vaccinated ZIP codes.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Thursday, members of the City of Memphis' Our Best Shot campaign again pounded the pavement, recruiting those on the fence to roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Our camera caught up with members in the Soulsville area and near LeMoyne-Owen College in south Memphis.

James Smith was a man on the move and on a mission in ZIP code 38106, one of the least vaccinated for COVID-19 in Shelby County.

"I know a lot of the community, a lot of people who live in the community, so it's awesome to know where you are needed is where you are going," Smith said.

"We want to get to back to a level of normalcy," Our Best Shot Field Organizer McKesha Alexander said. 

"We are seeing the fruits of a lot of door knocks," Our Best Shot Field Director Liz Wooten added.

Last week - for the first time - Our Best Shot organizers said more unvaccinated people committed to getting the vaccine than those who declined and they're on pace to do it again this week.

"It is a milestone. It definitely re-energized our mission," Wooten added.

"When you do get the open doors and people are willing to talk and who are listening to the information, I mean, it's just an awesome feeling," Smith said.

While members of the campaign admit the no answers or no thanks can be challenging, they're also motivated by the connections - and grassroots vaccination progress - in real time.

"It means the world to me just knowing that there are people out here who are genuinely listening and understanding that we are giving you the facts," Alexander said.

Since May, the Our Best Shot team knocked on more than 20,000 doors, chipping away, one additional vaccination at a time.