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Tennessee Makes Rapid Progress in Vaccinating Highest Risk Populations

 

Tennessee Department of HealthNashville, TN – Tennessee is making great progress in rapidly vaccinating those at the highest risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Within four weeks of Tennessee receiving its first doses of the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine, more than 221,000 people in the state have received vaccinations, and the Tennessee Department of Health is distributing COVID-19 vaccinations as rapidly as supplies are received from the federal government.

Tennesseans 75 and up now eligible for a vaccine

Tennessee is one of the most successful states in the United States at quickly administering vaccines, having administered more than 50 percent of the vaccines received by the state.

Tennessee is now providing COVID-19 vaccinations to residents and staff members in long-term care facilities, a priority population for Phase 1a1 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

Residents of long-term care facilities are one of the most vulnerable populations for severe disease and death from COVID-19 Coronavirus. In Tennessee, about 68 percent of all COVID-related deaths have occurred in people over the age of 70, and more than 2,000 deaths have occurred among residents of long-term care facilities alone.

“Tennessee’s COVID-19 vaccination plan prioritizes those most at risk of serious illness, and it is critical we protect our medically fragile senior citizens, who are at greater risk than other adults of needing hospitalization or dying if diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP.

Pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS, and some local independent pharmacies are partnering to vaccinate the residents and staff members of long-term care facilities. These efforts began the week of December 28, 2020.

Nursing homes are prioritized first, as their residents require higher levels of medical care, with assisted living facilities and homes for the aged as the next priority. Since December 28th, 2020, CVS has vaccinated staff members and residents at 58 Tennessee nursing homes, and Walgreens has vaccinated staff members and residents in at least 125 facilities. Walgreens plans to complete COVID-19 vaccinations at all of their nursing home facilities by January 25th.

Tennessee assisted care living facilities and homes for the aged will also begin vaccinating their staff members and residents on January 13th through the federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS. While COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine supplies remain limited, the state is also prioritizing vaccination of Tennesseans aged 75 or older.

Additional priority populations will be able to receive COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccinations as quickly as vaccine supplies allow, as outlined in the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

Availability of vaccines varies by county. Tennessee counties may progress through COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccination phases at different times depending on supplies of vaccines. Tennesseans can learn what phase they will be in for receiving the vaccine at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/vaccine-phases/.

About the Tennessee Department of Health

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote, and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.


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