Not long ago, the Music City Center administered over 2,200 coronavirus vaccine doses on a single day. On Friday, the last day to receive a first dose at the convention center, just shy of 900 doses were administered, only 193 of which were first doses.
Since pharmacies and grocery stores across the city began to offer vaccines, demand at the convention center has plummeted, says Brian Todd, a spokesman for the Metro Public Health Department.
“It doesn’t really appear that we need a centralized large scale vaccine location because the vaccine is readily available throughout the county,” Todd says.
The city’s pop-up vaccine events and the drive-thru inoculation site at the former Kmart on Murfreesboro Road have seen a growing popularity. According to Dr. Gill Wright, the city’s medical director, the drive-thru site administered over 260 doses on Wednesday, while the Music City Center has not been able to administer more than 200 new doses a day this past week.
As a result, the city is closing down the Music City Center vaccination site and redirecting doses toward smaller, community-based events. The convention center vaccination site will stay open until May 28 for those with second dose appointments at the site, according to Todd.
As the city relies more heavily on outdoor vaccination sites, vulnerabilities with that rollout strategy have already begun to reveal itself. On Friday, the inoculation drive-thru on Murfreesboro Road was forced to close due to damage from Thursday night’s storm. The site will reopen on Monday, Todd says.
“It is something that can happen,” he says, “but being open five days a week and not needing an appointment anymore, it maybe delays someone by a day.”