Tennessee updates timeline for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee health officials say they are ready to open mass vaccination sites but there is one big holdup.

“We just don’t have the product,” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said Friday.

The vaccine supply projected in Operation Warp Speed has not come through, officials say.

“If I had more vaccines, we would give them out faster, but we are still constrained by supply,” Dr. Piercey said.

Dr. Piercey said she’s now looking to the first week of February when the state might start seeing week over week increasing allocations.

Now that TDH has a better idea of the number of vaccines they’re getting, the timeline for vaccination phases has been updated. It pushes back the projection for those 65 years and older to March, instead of February/March.

It’s important to note that this timeline is subject to change.

Other changes to the vaccine phases include adding correction officers and jailers to Phase 1a1. Dr. Piercey said most people in this group have already been vaccinated.

Households with medically fragile children have also been added to Phase 1c of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. Vaccination of their parents, caregivers and other household residents will help protect these children, as at this time no COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children under age 16. Phase 1c also includes people age 16 and older who have medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.

The state will update vaccine information five days a week online.

Tennesseans can learn what phase of the vaccination plan they’re in and register for an appointment when they are eligible here.

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