The Hardin County Health Department is expanding the groups currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to those over age 75 and teachers.
Unless scheduled and notified directly by your employer, vaccinations for eligible members of the general public are by appointment only.
If you are 75 or older and want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, call the Hardin County Health Department at 731-925-2557 starting Monday, Jan. 4, and schedule an appointment.
The health department is conducting a drive-through vaccination clinic Saturday at the Hardin County Fairgrounds. However, the clinic is also by appointment only and no openings remain.
Because the amount of COVID-19 vaccine is limited, the state is using a phased approach to who is eligible. Those considered most at risk are the first to receive vaccinations as supplies arrive.
“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.
“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.”
With the goal of protecting the most vulnerable first, so far in Hardin County vaccines have been given to frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and workers, first responders such as police and firefighters, and those over 18 who are unable to live independently.
As more vaccine has become available in Hardin County, that was recently expanded to all other healthcare workers, as well as those aged 75 and older and, starting Saturday, teachers.
Some members of some eligible groups, such as teachers, are having their appointments set by their employer, which is in direct contact with the HCHD.
Officials say the vaccine situation in Tennessee – in all states – is fluid and changing rapidly. Plans have been changing daily and sometimes hourly. Plans are being adjusted according to supply of the vaccine, demand for it, local needs and other factors.
Across Tennessee, some counties may be a little ahead or behind other counties as far as which groups are eligible to be vaccinated. All decisions regarding which phase a county is in and which groups are eligible to receive vaccines are being made with guidance and approval from TDH at the state level and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the federal level.
According to TDH, updates to the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccination Plan are focused on:
•Risk to healthcare infrastructure – keeping frontline health care workers at the bedside, while reducing demand on hospital capacity
•Risk to individual health outcomes – protecting the most vulnerable Tennesseans first
•Risk to society and economy – preserving the workforce in the highest risk areas
Hardin County is slightly ahead of most other counties and is now moving into phase 1b to include teachers.
Subsequent phases prioritize critical infrastructure industries. Employees in industries not specified in the phases will become eligible as their age group is reached or according to their individual risk.
To learn what phase an individual county is in, visit www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/CountyPhaseStatus.pdf or call the Hardin County Health Department.
TDH reminds all Tennesseans that in addition to vaccination, wearing a face mask, maintaining social distance and getting tested when exposed or sick are critical to controlling the pandemic.
Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is available online at www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccination_Plan.pdf
Find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination at https://covid19.tn.gov/prevention/vaccine/.