By Caleb Revill,
The Tennessee Health Department’s Facebook page released information on a COVID-19 vaccine phases rollout timeline on Wednesday, Dec. 30.
“COVID-19 vaccines remain limited at this time, and Tennessee’s allocation plan prioritizes those most at risk of illness and death from COVID-19,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey in a press release. “The plan also prioritizes critical infrastructure workers who have direct public exposure or work in environments posing a higher risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.“
The phases are broken down into seven priority vaccination groups, starting at health care workers (phase 1a1) and ending at grocery workers (phase 3). In between these priority group phases are “Simultaneous Age-Based Criteria Phases” for the general public, starting at ages 75-plus and ending at ages 16-plus.
“We are still vaccinating folks in the 1a1 and 1a2 phase if they haven’t received, plus we have also opened it up to those in the 75+ age group,” said Gibson County Health Department Director Danna Taylor. “We have seen a great demand and uptake.”
Gibson County residents 75 and older who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can contact the county health department at 731-884-2645 to learn more about setting up an appointment. Residents at long-term care facilities are within the priority phase 1a1 group and are expected to have vaccinations available soon.
Current vaccinations are administered in two separate shots. According to Tennessee’s state website, those who choose to receive the vaccine will receive a card with the date of their first dose, the name/manufacturer of the vaccine received and the date on which they should receive their second dose.
According to data from the Tennessee Health Department’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard,” 126,887 total Tennesseans have already received their first round of vaccinations as of Jan. 1. In Gibson County, 1.83% of residents have had their first round of vaccinations administered.
The next priority group “phase 1b” is expected to begin receiving vaccines in February or March. This phase group includes K-12 school teachers, child care staff and additional first responders. Shortly after, the 65+ age group is expected to qualify for receiving vaccines.
“As far as managing vaccine distribution, we have been able to vaccinate the current phases as soon as we receive it,” Taylor said. “It’s been all hands on board.”
More information about COVID-19 and vaccination frequently asked questions is available at the Tennessee’s government website: https://covid19.tn.gov/