Memphis moves to phase 3 in vaccination plan; all adults can receive COVID-19 shot starting Friday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis is moving forward in its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Anyone 45 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 shot.

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Phase 3 includes:

  • Individuals in congregate living facilities (includes those living and working in shelters, college dormitories, other settings where individuals are capable of independent living)
  • Grocery workers
  • Corrections (includes those housed in detention centers, prisons, and jails)

The city also announced all adults may get their dosage starting Friday.

This announcement comes after Governor Bill Lee announced Monday morning that all Tennesseans over the age of 16 are eligible to get vaccinated starting April 5.

“The federal government had asked us to make sure every adult will have access by May 1st, and Tennessee will beat that deadline,” said Lee.

Earlier this month President Joe Biden directed all states to make the vaccine available to all adults no later than May 1st. Today, the state announced that everyone 55 years old and older are eligible to get the vaccine. It also includes certain workers.

“Think of things like public transit and commercial food production and others in logistics and those things that are critical to the infrastructure of our society,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey.

Ages 55 and older and Phase 2 are eligible now.

This comes days after Shelby County and the city of Memphis asked the state’s permission to vaccinate all those adults, ages 16 and over, in the county.

RELATED: Memphis, Shelby County ask TN Dept. of Health to allow every adult in county to be vaccinated

The push started with requests from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Mayor Harris to the Tennessee Department on Friday to expand vaccine access to all adults here.

Eligibility for those in Phase 3 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan will run concurrently with age-based eligibility, a release said.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 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.

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In a tweet last week, Mayor Harris signaled state support. He said, “the state will announce plans for all adults in Shelby County to be vaccinated.”

TDH requests every dose of COVID-19 vaccine made available to the state:

  • 2.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to Tennessee providers to date
  • Expecting approximately 311,000 vaccine doses week of March 22
  • Expecting new allocations of Johnson and Johnson vaccine week of March 29, which will 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, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Tennessee will now open COVID-19 vaccination to all eligible adults well ahead of the federal goal of May 1.”