County-by-county COVID-19 vaccine eligibility leads to confusion

Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 9:17 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 13:32:18-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for those 70 years old and older, but only in the 89 Tennessee counties without their own health departments.

A total of six counties operate under their own health departments apart from the state: Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Shelby, Madison and Sullivan County.

Davidson County isn't one of those. It operates its own health department, with different vaccine availability, and it progresses through the vaccination levels separately from the state-run health departments in the more rural counties.

We've heard from many of you about how frustrating it's been trying to get an appointment, and the roadblocks you've run into.

Davidson County is not moving through those vaccination phases as quickly as the state-run counties -- Davidson County, including Nashville, is still only vaccinating those 75 years old and up.

Metro Public Health says that's because there are just more people in Nashville to vaccinate.

"A lot of counties have already covered the 75 and older, so they're ready to go to the next age group," said Brian Todd with Metro Public Health. "Unfortunately, we've got a lot more, we'd like to move faster and a lot of that just depends on how much vaccine we have."

Metro says it's hoping to expand vaccination to those 70 and up by the end of February.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.