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White House to build community vaccination center in Memphis

March 31, 2021 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration and the state of Tennessee are building a community center for COVID-19 vaccinations in Memphis, officials said.

The White House said Wednesday that the community vaccination site will be located on the grounds of the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis.

The site will operate every day, for a six- to eight-week period, a news release from the Biden administration said. The site is expected to deliver up to 21,000 doses per week, and it should be up and running by April 7, White House officials said.

Personnel from the 3rd Marine Division will help administer the vaccines.

The location was selected using an index created to help emergency response planners and public health officials identify and map communities that will most likely need support before, during and after a hazardous event, White House officials said.

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The index takes into consideration socioeconomic status, household composition, minority status, languages, housing type and transportation in vulnerable communities.

About 17.5% of Shelby County’s population of nearly 1 million people had been vaccinated as of March 21st, one of the lowest rates in Tennessee, the White House said. Shelby County, which includes Memphis, is the state’s most populous county.

“The goal of establishing these joint federal pilot centers is to continue to expand the rate of vaccinations in an efficient, effective and equitable manner, with an explicit focus on making sure that communities with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection are not left behind,” the news release said.