COVID VACCINES PHOTO

As of late last week, Sumner County had limited availability and was offering vaccines by appointment for individuals in phases 1a1 and 1a2, as well as those age 75 and older.

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

As of Friday, Sumner County had limited availability and was offering vaccines by appointment for those in phases 1a1 and 1a2, as well as those age 75 and older.

Phase 1a1 covers hospital staff, home health-care staff and first responders, while 1a2 covers other health-care workers with direct patient exposure.

Anyone seeking to be vaccinated must call the Sumner County Health Department at 615-206-1100 to make an appointment. Callers are asked to leave their contact information.

Exact information about how many vaccinations have been given out in Sumner County was not available. Attempts to reach Health Director Hal Hendricks were unsuccessful.

Friday’s dashboard update listed Sumner County with 1,601 active cases of COVID-19.

During the Jan. 4 meeting of the Portland City Council, mayor Mike Callis told the board that a number of “critical infrastructure” employees who were eligible had been vaccinated.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Callis said at the time.

As of Friday, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) reported 330,775 vaccinations had been given statewide. Of those, only 42,851 had received the second dose. In Sumner County, 2.57% of the population has received the initial dose and 0.92% have received both doses, according to the TDOH 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 during 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 that it plans to complete COVID-19 vaccinations at all of their nursing-home facilities by Jan. 25.

Tennessee’s assisted living facilities and homes for the aged were also to begin vaccinating their staff members and residents on 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 age 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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