As more Memphis neighborhoods and suburban municipalities opened inoculation locations in recent weeks, Bartlett leaders continue to express frustration about the lack of a spot in their city.

The Appling City Cove vaccination site is located close to the Bartlett border at 2355 Appling City Cove in Memphis. The former city inspection station remains the closest site for Northeast Shelby County. This is an area that includes Bartlett, Arlington, Lakeland and Millington. This week, the Appling site is open for just two days and hours were cut. This resulted in more disappointment for Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald.

“If they’re going to stick with Appling to cover not just the (four) municipalities, but a large area of Cordova and the areas that are deannexed, areas in Memphis that are close, it would be valuable to all of us to bring that up to five days a week, six, seven hours (a day) at least, and first and second doses,” McDonald said.

Initial data showed Bartlett with the second lowest vaccination rate in Shelby County behind Memphis. Bartlett, the county’s second largest city, has proposed two potential permanent vaccine sites. This would become a more centralized location in the city, and provide greater access to other nearby municipalities.

One is a drive-thru site and the other an indoor site. McDonald declined to give more specifics in an interview Wednesday, though any funding for a Bartlett site would likely come from the city’s reserve, McDonald said.

Another issue facing Bartlett is a cap on the number of vaccines the Shelby County Health Department receives from the state each week. However, this an issue beyond the city’s control. The Health Department will receive about 11,000 doses each week for the remainder of February. Those are to cover the entire county.

Until that number rises, demand will remain greater than supply not only in Bartlett but countywide. The Health Department did not return a request for comment on this story.

While Bartlett Position 2 Alderwoman Emily Elliott is frustrated with the entire local vaccination process, she also called on the state to increase its dosage allotment to Shelby County at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Tuesday night.

“We’ve got 900,000 or so people, I don’t know why we aren’t getting our fair share,” Elliott said.

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