NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Public Health Department will begin giving the COVID-19 vaccine on a walk-in basis in addition to appointments at the Music City Center beginning Monday.

The health department said the first 500 people who walk-in without appointments will be able to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments will still be available each day.

The health department and Meharry Medical College began administering the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine at the former Kmart location on Murfreesboro Pike.

The health department was able to quickly transition to the Pfizer vaccine at the drive-through site when the FDA and CDC recommended early Tuesday morning to pause administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Gill Wright, interim director of health, said anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than a month ago should be OK. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last two weeks, he said those people should watch for the following symptoms: severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath. Wright said if these were to occur in the next 10 days you should see your personal physician or if severe go to the emergency room.

Wright and Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said the city remains on track to vaccinate at least 50% of Davidson County residents.

Metro Health reported on Wednesday that 35.1% of Davidson County residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Mayor John Cooper has set a target of 50% of residents to be vaccinated by May 1.

Metro health officials aid they have ample amount of vaccine, despite no longer administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“There have been hundreds of people who have received the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and there has not been anything that has triggered them to be paused,” said Jahangir. “Of the 66 million Americans that have been vaccinated fully, there have been 0.008% incidents of cases. So, .008, so 5,800 cases out of 66 million people that are vaccinated. Vaccines work.”

On Wednesday, the Mayor’s office announced easing COVID-19 restrictions since the county had reached 30% of the population being vaccinated.

The following changes take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday:

  • Restaurants and bars may operate with 225 seated socially distanced patrons per floor,
  • Restaurant and bar hours return to normal 3 a.m. closing
  • Gathering size and table seating increased to 15 people inside, maximum of 25 people outside
  • 40% capacity for outdoor arenas with controlled access and 33% capacity for indoor arenas
  • Maximum indoor event capacities increased to up to 3,000 with Metro Public Health Department approval. Higher-risk events increased up to 225.

Health officials said more restrictions could be lifted after 40% of Davidson County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccination.

Metro health officials provide an update on the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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