Governor Announces All TN Adults will be Eligible for COVID Vaccination by April 5

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Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine vials in a row macro close up

   Governor Bill Lee announced last week that all Tennessee adults will be eligible for the 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 became eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations effective March 18.

   By April 5, all Tennesseans age 16 and over will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. 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.

   Tennessee continues to see increasing supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, which allows the state to rapidly accelerate eligibility to receive the vaccination. 2.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to Tennessee providers to date. The Tennessee Department of Health stated that they are expecting new allocations of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week, which will increase weekly supplies by 30 percent.

    “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.”

   Effective March 18, Tennesseans aged 55 and older and those in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan became eligible for the vaccine. 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

   Find vaccination providers in your area by visiting VaccineFinder.org. Tennessee county health departments across the state currently have appointments available for COVID-19 vaccination. You may 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 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.