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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Encouragement to get vaccinated increases before the opening of the FEMA mass vaccine site

Thousands of appointments are still available, but FEMA expects they will fill up.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Despite the busy day at the soon-to-be mass vaccine site at the Pipkin Building, there are still thousands of appointments available. 

So, how are FEMA and the City of Memphis going to accomplish a goal of 3,000 shots per day? 

FEMA spokesperson Darrell Habisch said transparency and accessibility are key. 

"The vaccine is proven to be effective, the efficacy rate is very high, especially with the Pfizer vaccines that are being delivered here,' Habisch said. 

"Hesitancy" has been the leading challenge in the vaccine rollout. Habisch said FEMA wants to encourage all to get it and know the offer to get vaccinated is available. 

"This is a personal choice for you to protect your family, protect your community, to protect yourself," Habisch said.  

Even fully vaccinated people, like Emily Heckle, understand the concern with hesitancy, but they believe it's the right thing to do. 

"I think it’s really important to just bite the bullet and just get it because then we can have things go back to normal and that’s really what everyone is searching for right now," Heckle said. 

She even shed tears of joy while talking about how her life will soon return to normal. 

"I get to go see my family next week and they’re all vaccinated. Oh my god, I’m getting emotional!" Heckle said. "I’m very excited to go see them again." 

John Ford, who is also fully vaccinated, said the vaccine is our ticket to a better future.

"I caught COVID and I knew I had to get vaccinated because I was fighting for my life and now I just want to live," Ford said. 

All agreed this is our chance to protect ourselves, our families, and our community. 

"Come on get vaccinated, it’s wonderful, come on get vaccinated," Ford said. 

The FEMA site will be open 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week starting Wednesday. Sign-up information can be found here