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Tennessee Could Receive First Vaccines This Month

December 09, 2020

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Tennessee Could Receive First Vaccines This MonthIt's a Christmas Miracle, Tennessee! A Tennessean article written by Cassandra Stephenson on November 24th, titled COVID-19 Vaccines Could Arrive in Tennessee by Dec. 15; Healthcare Officials Outline Tentative Timeline stated that Tennessee could receive its first doses of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as December 15th and could become widely available to Tennesseans by early summer, according to state officials. Dr. Lisa Piercy, the Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, said the state is prepared to distribute the vaccine immediately upon arrival.

Since that state is currently one of four states participating in Pfizer's pilot delivery program for the vaccine, which by the way, must be stored at ultracold temperatures, Tennessee anticipates it will receive its first round of vaccines. According to Dr. Piercy, the Moderna vaccine candidate is expected to arrive about one week later. Although the number of doses delivered in the next few months fluctuates widely, it is estimated between 80,000 and 100,000 doses are expected in the first delivery. Since the vaccine requires two doses, it is enough to vaccinate between 40,000 and 50,000 people.

Not everyone will be eligible to receive the vaccine from the get-go. Vaccines will be distributed in phases according to the state's draft distribution plan. Frontline healthcare workers and first responders will receive the vaccine first with Tennessee moving through the following phases as supply allows. When the state expects to have enough vaccine doses to meet demand, the second phase will prioritize staff in schools and childcare business, older adults, and those with illnesses who have a medium risk of complicating the virus.

In terms of how the vaccine will be distributed, Tennessee expects to lean on hospitals, public health agencies, and pharmacies. It will prioritize disbursement from hospitals with emergency rooms and ICUs, according to the state's disbursement plan. In rural areas where there's no hospital, the vaccine will be available at local pharmacies. To read more about how Tennessee will distribute the vaccine and who is eligible in greater detail, please click on the link provided above or here: COVID-19 Vaccines Could Arrive in Tennessee by Dec. 15; Healthcare Officials Outline Tentative Timeline


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