Nashville opens pop-up COVID vaccination clinics to prevent doses from expiring

Weather delayed Metro's vaccinations this week
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Posted at 11:29 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 21:52:00-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — This week’s winter storms in Tennessee have forced Nashville to delay its COVID-19 vaccinations and close its community assessment centers. However, despite the treacherous weather, Mayor John Cooper said the delays have not resulted in any wasted doses.

Cooper gave the update during Metro’s weekly COVID briefing. He said this week’s weather also wouldn’t affected Metro’s allotted number of doses.

Due to the weather delay, Metro said it had 400 doses of the vaccine that were about to expire. So, they took that supply to The Nashville Rescue Mission and administered it to about 250 individuals who wanted to be vaccinated. The Room In The Inn also brought some individuals over. The remaining doses then went to those on Metro’s standby list.

“We are not going to let any vaccine go to waste, and if we are presented with additional opportunities, we will continue to deliver the shots to our residents here in Nashville,” said Dr. Alex Jahangir.

Dr. Gill Wright – Metro Health’s Interim Chief Medical Officer – explained that once it's thawed and placed into the refrigerator, the Pfizer vaccine has to be used within five days. Of those doses, some were about to reach that five-day limit, while others would have expired today.

Williamson County also had more than 100 doses that were about to expire Wednesday, and health officials tried to get those to community members who are eligible to get the vaccine. However, that couldn't happen due to the weather, and the Tennessee Department of Health had to make other arrangements so they wouldn’t go to waste.

“With the blessing of the Williamson County mayor, vaccines were taken to a clinic in Davidson County that serves patients who are primarily older and African American. Vaccines were also taken to the main Nashville post office, where postal workers had been snowed in and unable to return home,” TDOH said in a statement.

“The state called us to help with a little over 100 vaccines from another jurisdiction. We set up a pop-up clinic in North Nashville and we were quickly able to bring in 119 individuals, predominately minorities and those over 65 with underlying health conditions, and we were able to get through that, as well, to make sure other vaccine in our region didn’t go to waste,” Dr. Jahangir said.

So far, Metro has administered more than 135,000 doses and is nearly finished with all 75,000 of its Phase 1a recipients. Dr. Wright said the weather delays pushed them back about four days, but they expect to resume vaccinations this weekend.

Metro will begin vaccinations for those 65 and older once they make more progress with the 70 and older group.

If you were scheduled to get your first dose this week, the Metro Public Health Department will contact you to reschedule your appointment. If you were scheduled to receive your second dose, you should visit the Music City Center once it reopens. Click here to schedule your appointment or call 615-862-7777.