Health Department expands vaccination eligibility, announces state appointment website and retail pharmacy option

Tennessee will begin registering people aged 65 and older and those in Phase 1b of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for vaccinations on Monday, Feb. 22, and the state is seeing expanded access to COVID-19 vaccination with the launch of a new federal retail pharmacy program.
Phase 1b includes staff members of kindergarten through 12th grade schools and child care facilities. The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination has already begun in Tennessee, with select pharmacies offering vaccinations in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.
The TDH says those vaccinations will be provided at no cost to patients and will be available by appointment only.
Tuesday, the Savannah Walmart verified on an automated phone messaging service that the local store on J.I. Bell Lane is part of the program and offering vaccinations at their pharmacy.
For details on other participating locations, Walmart’s COVID-19 vaccine policy and-or to schedule an appointment online, visit www.walmart.com/covidvaccine.
The TDH announced the retail pharmacy program last week, and the movement to those 65 and older, as well as 1b of the state’s vaccination plan, on Tuesday.
“Tennessee has administered more than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far, and we’ve made substantial progress in protecting our senior citizens who are over age 70 through vaccination,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey. “While we remain focused on our seniors, who are the highest-risk population, we’re able to expand vaccine eligibility to these additional groups as our supply continues to grow each week.”
To help Tennesseans make appointments to be vaccinated, TDH has launched a new online scheduling tool that allows users to book their appointment for COVID-19 vaccination at participating health department sites when they are eligible to do so.
Tennesseans can access the system at covid19.tn.gov and select their county to schedule an appointment. Users will enter their demographic information and will then be able to choose a date and time for their vaccination appointment.
Tennesseans who have already registered for a COVID-19 vaccination do not need to re-enter their information in the new system.
TDH has also updated the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan by adding pregnant women to Phase 1c.
Although pregnant women were not included in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, TDH says they are at increased risk for hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.
Pregnant women may choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1c, along with others with high-risk health conditions. Pregnant women are encouraged to talk with their health care providers to help them make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance for pregnant women to help reduce their risk of COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html.
TDH says a total of one million doses of Moderna vaccine were provided for the first week of the retail pharmacy program nationwide, and additional doses will be allocated to the program weekly, based on the available supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine allocations provided for this program are in addition to the weekly allocation going to states and may initially be limited in quantity. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/retail-pharmacy-program/index.html.
TDH says the state’s vaccination plan prioritizes those most at risk of illness and death from COVID-19, and Tennessee will continue to move through phases of the plan as vaccine supplies increase.
Tennesseans can learn what phase of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan they’re in at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/eligibility/.

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