Weekly Update

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Since assuming responsibility for the vaccine process, I have continued to be pleased with the results, and our team is working each day to get better. The chart below gives a quick snapshot of the numbers over the past week.

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Recently, you’ve heard us say we have a goal of vaccinating roughly 700,000 people by May 31st of this year (in line with President Biden’s goal). I want to clarify that just a bit.

It’s going to be hard to reach that goal until later this year. Please remember that children under the age of 16 cannot be vaccinated now, and there will not be a child’s vaccine until this Fall—at the earliest. In Shelby County, there are roughly 712,000 people 16 years of age and older. So, 70 percent of that number would be 498,000. So, for us to hit the President’s goal, the realistic number for this summer is 498,000.

Once children are able to be vaccinated, our goal is 649,000 (70% of 928,000 total population).

A matter of equity: Ensuring equity and inclusion in all aspects of City government is a top priority.

The vaccine process is no different.

The City of Memphis is actively working to make sure everyone has equal access and the process is easy for everyone to use and understand. We assumed responsibility for the vaccination process in Shelby County on February 23rd. Since then, we have vaccinated more than 70,000 people through fixed sites and pop-up pods, decreased wait times to under 20 minutes, and started on the intentional path of improving the percentage of vaccinated African Americans (AA) and people of color from approximately 24 percent of the total to almost 30 percent of the total. We are working every day to reduce barriers to access. This small increase is a step in the right direction, but we know there is much more to do.

The five fixed, mass vaccination sites were chosen for very specific reasons. From a logistical standpoint, we looked for locations where large numbers of people can be processed efficiently. Equally important, we had to ensure access was broadly available throughout Shelby County. The map below shows the location of each site, as well as half-mile, one-mile, three-mile and five-mile radius around each site.


To align with our equity goals, we calculated the demographics of people living within half-mile, one mile, three miles and five miles of each site. For the five sites across Shelby County, we find that the aggregate population living within three and five miles of the sites mirrors precisely the demographics of Shelby County, with 53 percent AA, 40 percent White, and 7 percent Latinx/Other races. When we calculate just for the sites located inside Memphis, we find that the populations living within half-mile and one-mile of the four Memphis sites, mirrors exactly the demographics of Memphis, with 63.5 percent AA, 32.5 percent White and 4 percent Latinx/Other living within those areas.

As we continue to move through this process, the City of Memphis is not only committed to providing an efficient vaccination service, but also an equitable process that serves all of Shelby County.

For more on what we’re doing to ensure equal access, go here.

Narrowing it down: As you may have seen yesterday, we announced that the search for a new director of the Memphis Police Department has been narrowed to seven candidates.

To help us do this, we contracted with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to search for the best candidates for the next Director of the Memphis Police Department. Interviews will be conducted over the next few weeks, and a decision will be made in April. Go here for pictures and complete biographical information of all the candidates.

It goes without saying that this position is one of the most important and one of the most visible roles within our administration, and whoever is chosen will have some big shoes to fill when Director Mike Rallings retires.

We’re #1: We were reminded again yesterday (not that anyone needs reminding) of the substantial impact FedEx has on our airport, our local economy, and the rest of the world.

Preliminary findings reported by Air Cargo World and Cargo Facts and in this article by one of our local news outlets stated that Memphis International Airport ranks #1 in the world for cargo handled in 2020 thanks largely to FedEx and an increase in e-commerce due to the pandemic.

In addition to being one of our top economic drivers, FedEx is always such a generous partner, and we’re lucky to have them in our community.


Have a great weekend!


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