Nashville’s COVID vaccination effort is now in the “following crowds” phase. And it turns out, some events have been big successes, while others have totally flopped.
For whatever reason, people were in the mood for vaccines at the Nashville Zoo on Sunday. A total of 208 people took shots, including 50 children. Some were busy parents who came purposefully for the convenience. Others were more of the “begrudging type,” who just dropped their objections on the spot and took the shot, says epidemiologist Leslie Waller of the Metro Public Health Department. They included one-third from outside Davidson County.
Why did it go so well? The nice weather helped, Waller says, but even the organizers haven’t figured out what works. So, they’re just trying to create opportunities for people who wouldn’t otherwise seek out a shot.
“We’re still trying to see what’s going to stick, really,” she says. “We’re kind of as baffled as everybody else as to why a place like the zoo would have such a great turnout. And in other locations, we might do like two or three people.”
Nearly four in 10 who got vaccinated at the Nashville Zoo — including most of the out-of-towners — chose the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, suggesting they valued the convenience.
Recent Vaccine Events
- Casa Azafrán, May 14, 200 shots
- Glenview Elementary School, May 15, 42 shots
- Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Catholic Church, May 19, 182 shots
- Biltmore Place Apartments, May 19, 12 shots
- Full Moon Pickin’ Party, May 21, 3 shots
- Nashville Zoo, May 23, 208 shots
- Ethiopian Community Association in Nashville, May 23, 2 shots
- Whitsitt Elementary School, May 24, 53 shots
By comparison, the Full Moon Pickin’ Party in Percy Warner Park on Friday night yielded just three takers for the whole evening. Maybe because it was held in the southwest quadrant of the city, which has Davidson County’s highest vaccination rates. But it’s hard to know.
Waller says health officials aren’t ready to give up on any types of event or parts of the county just yet, with vaccination rates still shy of 50% countywide. They’ll be at an East Nashville benefit concert on Sunday. Even the busts are seen as a learning experience, she says, not a waste of time.
In Nashville, two sites continue to offer COVID vaccines on weekdays. In surrounding counties, local health departments are offering shots on weekdays without appointments and are also scheduling a limited number of weekend events.