Gov. Lee says COVID-19 vaccines are coming to Tennessee ‘within weeks’


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Getting COVID-19 vaccines to Tennesseans ‘is changing every minute,’ but vaccines are coming to the state ‘within weeks’ said Governor Bill Lee.

His words came on the eve of his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence Thursday in Memphis about Tennessee’s distribution plan for the vaccine.

Earlier at a meeting with his group that determines how the state spends $2.3 billion in federal stimulus money, the governor relayed what he had just learned on a call about the vaccine distribution.

“It’s complicated. It’s changing every minute because the information that comes to us from the federal government is changing,” the governor told the group that includes top legislative leaders. “As the understanding of the vaccine’s manufacturer, the quantities, the dates of distribution those are all very fluid.”

Despite those words, the governor echoed the hopeful tone of many health officials on when the COVID-19 vaccine gets to Tennessee.

“We are now on the cusp of real hopeful development, and within just the next couple of weeks we will have vaccines in arms,” added the governor. “And we’ll start the process of turning the tide on this.”

That shot in the arm of a COVID-19 vaccine for Tennesseans could initially go to frontline health care workers and first responders, but state’s themselves make the final decision.

The vaccine timeline for the rest of the public depends on distribution and that, as the governor says, can change by the minute. But most health experts are looking at early spring.

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