Changes to COVID-19 vaccination plan adjusts when 65 and older are eligible; moves up medically fragile, jailers

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Department of Health has updated the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan to follow CDC guidelines that prioritize Tennesseans most at risk of illness and death from the virus.

Updates released Friday include setting vaccination eligibility for people 65 years and older to March 1. Previous charts designated “February/March” as the eligibility date for this age group.

In a press conference Friday, the agency said the 65-and-older age group is pushed back to March because it has taken longer than planned to vaccinate the 75-and-older age group.

The estimated timeline and phases of Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan are preliminary and subject to additional changes pending further recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and other federal and state partners, the agency said.

Other updates include:

Protecting medically fragile children and adults

Tennessee has added people living in households with medically fragile children to Phase 1c of the state’s plan. Vaccination of their parents, caregivers and other household residents will help protect these children, as at this time no COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children under age 16.

Phase 1c also includes people age 16 and older who have medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. This group is further defined in the updated plan, and occurs earlier in Tennessee’s plan than in federal vaccination recommendations.

Correctional officers and jailers now in Phase 1a1

Tennessee correctional officers and jailers have been added to Phase 1a1 of Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. These Tennesseans work in settings and roles that require frequent direct public exposure through close contact in confined spaces, placing them at high risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Tracking COVID-19 vaccination

Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting dashboard is available online and will be updated Monday through Friday each week beginning today, Jan. 22.

COVID-19 vaccine supplies remain limited, and availability of vaccines varies by county. Tennessee counties may progress through COVID-19 vaccination phases at different times depending on supplies of vaccines.

Tennesseans can learn what phase of the vaccination plan they’re in and register for an appointment when they are eligible.

Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is available online Find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination at this link.

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