Tennessee is continuing its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, although availability remains a concern in some counties.

As of Friday, Trousdale County had no vaccine available, but had been offering vaccines by appointment for those in phases 1a1 and 1a2, as well as those aged 75 and over. Phase 1a1 covers hospital staff, home health care staff and first responders, while 1a2 covers other health care workers with direct patient exposure.

While Tennessee has announced that teachers have been moved up on the priority list for vaccines, Trousdale Director of Schools Clint Satterfield called that “misleading.”

“I have been in constant communication with the local health department and the Tennessee Department of Health, and the ‘moving up’ to 1b is quite misleading as Tennessee is presently stagnant in 1a. The governor is seemingly calling for all 70-75 year olds to be vaccinated prior to moving to 1b. The regional director estimated it would be the end of February or early March before they could vaccine our employees,” Satterfield said in a statement to The Vidette.

Anyone seeking to be vaccinated should call 866-442-5301 for more information.

Tuesday’s dashboard update listed Trousdale County with 63 active cases of COVID-19.

As of Friday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 330,775 vaccinations had been given statewide. Of those, only 42,851 had received the second dose. In Trousdale County, 4.10% of the population has received the initial dose and 0.28% have received both doses, according to the TDOH’s reporting website.

Pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS and some local independent pharmacies are partnering to vaccinate the residents and staff members of long-term care facilities. These efforts began the week of Dec. 28, 2020.

CVS has reported vaccinating staff members and residents at 81 Tennessee nursing homes, and Walgreens has vaccinated staff members and residents in at least 173 facilities. Walgreens said it plans to complete COVID-19 vaccinations at all of their nursing home facilities by Jan. 25.

Hartsville Health & Rehab received its first allocation of vaccines for its staff and residents in December, according to facility administrator Pete Prins.

The majority of residents received the first dose of the vaccine in December, with a second dose to be provided on Jan. 26. A third clinic will be offered at the facility in February.

Prins reported no complications among staff or residents, saying some employees only noticed a sore arm afterwards.

“Accepting the vaccine is a no-brainer: why would someone want to continue running a risk of contracting COVID-19, possibly resulting in acute illness, even death? A 94% chance of not contracting COVID-19 after a vaccine appears to be the best alternative,” he said.

Tennessee assisted care living facilities and homes for the aged were also to begin vaccinating their staff members and residents Jan. 13 through the federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS. While COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited, the state is also prioritizing vaccination of Tennesseans aged 75 or older. “Tennessee’s COVID-19 vaccination plan prioritizes those most at risk of serious illness, and it is critical we protect our medically fragile senior citizens, who are at greater risk than other adults of needing hospitalization or dying if diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey in a press statement.

Additional priority populations will be able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as quickly as vaccine supplies allow, as outlined in the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com. Contributing: Staff reports

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