Seeing the need for the COVID vaccine, Memphis pharmacists start a mobile clinic

Ted and Merica Lyons have been pharmacists for more than two decades. They’ve dealt with bad flu seasons and events like the 2009 swine flu pandemic. After years in Memphis, they knew full well the health disparities that existed in the community.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, it brought into focus just how stark the Mid-South’s health care disparities are. And when COVID-19 vaccines became publicly available in early 2021, the couple knew from their years of experience that a combination of lack of access and vaccine skepticism could keep many people from getting vaccinated.

“What can we do to try to help with this problem?” said Ted. “You will have to address the people. You have to educate, you have to find the thought leaders in the community, the trusted people, those trusted others to give them some kind of vicarious trust that will allow them to move forward and get vaccinated. Well, you can’t do that from your big companies. You really must have your boots on the ground.

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