NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials are launching a statewide online scheduling system in the coming days for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
The effort aims to prevent people from having to wait in line for hours, sometimes only to be turned away because there are no doses left, state Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters Friday. That’s been an issue in Chattanooga, for instance, where there have been long lines of people waiting in their cars as Hamilton County opened vaccine eligibility for those 75 and older.
Some counties already have been using an appointment-based system.
Meanwhile, some larger counties are just starting to schedule vaccinations for people 75 and older.
On Thursday, Tennessee reported more than 215,400 COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered so far in the state. That’s about 3% of the state’s population, compared to a 2% national rate reported by federal health officials. More than 4,500 people have received their second doses in Tennessee.
For several weeks, Tennessee has endured one of the worst reported surges in new coronavirus cases nationally per capita. There were 1,390 new cases per 100,000 people in Tennessee over the past two weeks, which ranks fourth in the country for new cases per capita, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.