COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanding to age 16-plus in Tennessee by April 5

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday announced all residents age 16-plus will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination no later than April 5.
Tennesseans aged 55 and older and those in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan are currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to the state Health Department, eligibility for those in Phase 3 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan will run concurrently with age-based eligibility. Phase 3 includes residents and staff members of congregate living facilities including college dormitories, group homes and shelters and those in the corrections system. Phase 3 also includes grocery store workers who were not eligible for vaccination based on previous age or risk-based categories. To help ensure vaccines are available to these populations, direct allocations of vaccines will be made to these facilities.
The department reports that Tennessee continues to see increasing supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, which allows the state to rapidly accelerate eligibility to receive the vaccination. So far, 2.9 million vaccine doses have been delivered to Tennessee providers, and 311,000 additional doses are expected this week. Officials anticipate new allocations of Johnson and Johnson vaccine to increase weekly supplies by 30%.
“As we’ve promised, we’re able to expand our COVID-19 vaccine eligibility as vaccine supplies have increased and we’ve made substantial progress in protecting those most at risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey. “Tennessee will now open COVID-19 vaccination to all eligible adults well ahead of the federal goal of May 1.”
Effective last Thursday, Tennesseans aged 55 and older and those in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan are eligible. Phase 2 includes those who work in settings that have experienced high numbers of COVID-19 infection clusters, and whose work is critical to continuing vital state operations. These groups include:
•Child welfare and adult protective services agency workers with direct public exposure
•Commercial food manufacturing workers
•Commercial agriculture workers involved in production and safety of food supplies and commodities
•Corrections system workers not previously covered under Phase 1a1
•Public transit drivers and maintenance personnel
•People working in other transportation, public infrastructure, telecommunications and utility industries
Scheduling a shot
Find vaccination providers in your area by visiting VaccineFinder.org.
Tennessee county health departments across the state reportedly have apCOpointments available for COVID-19 vaccination. Book an appointment with your county health department at COVID19.tn.gov. Those who need help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment with their local health department may call the TDH vaccine support line at 866-442-5301.
The Tennessee Department of Health stresses 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.

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