NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Public Health officials announced that they’re increasing the number of walk-in vaccinations at Music City Center from 500 to 1,000.
Dr. Gill Wright made the announcement Thursday during Metro’s weekly COVID-19 update, saying that Metro will close the Music City Center vaccination site on May 28. The health department will continue offering vaccinations at its drive-thru location at 2491 Murfreesboro Road and at mobile events throughout the county.
Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chairman of Metro's COVID-19 Task Force added that locales in the private sector will also ensure that those that want a vaccine will be able to find it. "Health systems, community places, pharmacies, grocery stores," Jahangir added.
Wright said the decision was made as health officials began to see smaller numbers of residents coming to the Music City Center in recent weeks for vaccinations. "We’re just seeing a significant fall off in the number of people that are coming through to get vaccinated -- and it doesn’t make sense to have that much space when we’re only seeing smaller and smaller numbers there," said Dr. Wright.
The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered at Music City Center through May 7. You can get the second dose there through May 28.
Last week, the health department followed the CDC's guidance and paused giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Wright said they will resume offering it at the drive-thru location if the CDC and FDA give their approval.
Right now, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is being offered at Music City Center and the drive-thru site. If the J&J vaccine gets the go-ahead again, Wright said they will offer both at the drive-thru location, so people can have a choice as to which vaccine they receive.
This week's update comes as Metro continues its push to get 50% of residents vaccinated by May. So far, nearly 39% of residents have received their first dose of the vaccine. Wright said they expect to hit the 100,000 mark later this week.
"I've been asked what's causing some of the reluctance in people getting vaccinated over the past couple of weeks. I believe it’s a combination of factors, that includes the news about J&J having been paused. Another possible factor is that people are not as eager to get the shot because they’re hearing that we have a lot lower case load or active cases than we’ve had since the winter," Wright said.
Wright said even though our cases have remained flat over the last several weeks, states like Michigan have seen an increase. He said that's due to the impact of COVID variants.
"The good news, the vaccine that is readily available protects against the variants. Getting your shot is the only protection against the [variants] of COVID that are being reported," he said.
To schedule a vaccine appointment at the Music City Center, visit asafenashville.org or call 615-862-7777. You can also make an appointment for the drive-thru clinic at the former Kmart on Murfreesboro Pike.