x
Breaking News
More () »

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

Memphis City Council considers plan to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to underserved communities

A city council resolution to fund and expand a program for mobile vaccinations at Black churches has almost unanimous support.
Credit: Storyblocks

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis City Councilors are asking the City of Memphis to fund a Black church mobile vaccination program. 

Councilman JB Smiley put forward the resolution Thursday morning, and it has almost unanimous support from the council. 

Pop up vaccination events would take place at Black churches to help those in underserved communities. 

"God is just amazing," said pastor Kia Moore.

Pastor Kia Moore is hopeful the city of Memphis will move forward with funding the Black church mobile vaccination program. In conjunction with the Shelby County Health Department last weekend, Moore helped coordinate two pop up vaccination events at Black churches, now that the city has taken over vaccine distribution. 

Moore hopes the program will not only continue but expand.

"I know how important the Black church is to the Black community in terms of trust building, so it just seemed like a no brainer," said Moore.

City council members are requesting the administration use some of the funds received from the city council emergency relief program to pay for the program.

City councilman JB Smiley said the mobile vaccinations would not be drive-thru locations, instead taking place inside church facilities with the help from church volunteers. 

RELATED: Have you tried calling 222-SHOT and didn't get through? Help is on the way

RELATED: When will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?

"It seems to be a match made in heaven, when you take the churches resources and the government resources, and coming together to support the community," said JB Smiley, Memphis City Councilmember.

"This allows for churches to get their busses to bring their members who might not have cars, or people be able to walk up if they don't have cars," said Moore.

Moore said by having pop up vaccination sites at black churches across the city, it will help those living in underserved communities - though anyone can go to the event for a vaccination. 

Smiley said so far, nearly 15 Black churches have volunteered their churches for vaccination sites, adding while the program will start off at African American churches, he believes it will eventually expand to all underserved communities.

"Memphis is not limited to just underserved Black communities. It's underserved white communities. There are underserved LatinX communities. There so many communities that are underserved we are just trying to make sure they get a vaccination if they so desire."

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us getting the illness. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection, but with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of white cells (our infection fighting cells) that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.