NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville Mayor John Cooper says the city is about halfway through the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution and hopes to move on to the second phase next month.
Cooper provided an update on Metro’s vaccination efforts during Davidson County’s weekly COVID briefing. Nashville is currently in phase 1a2 of its rollout, which includes persons 75 and older.
The mayor said as of Jan. 19, providers in the area have received and administered 64,194 total doses, including about 18,000 second doses. By mid-February, Cooper said they expect to be in phase 1b, which includes teachers and childcare workers – approximately 25,000 more people.
Cooper again said supply continues to the biggest hurdle in administering the vaccine – especially with no federal vaccine reserve.
“Contrary to what the public may have been led to believe during the past administration, we have recently learned that there are no national vaccine stockpiles. There had been a report that half of all manufactured vaccines were being held back and reserved. This turned out to be false,” he said.
As a result, Cooper said there will not be a “sudden surge of vaccine distribution.”
Over the next week, Metro expects to administer 5,400 doses of the vaccine – an average of about 750 doses per-day. However, Nashville has a population of over 700,000. With more vaccine doses, Cooper said Metro could speed up its timeline.
“With our health care partners, we have the capacity to vaccinate four or five times more people every day, safely, without wait times or long lines. But in order to do that, we need more vaccine,” he said.
Cooper said Metro got its latest allotment this morning and will get another on Friday morning. He said none of it will go to waste.
Additionally, Metro expects to vaccinate 100-150 more people on the 75 and older waiting list daily, as supplies allow. Anyone in this age range can sign up for the vaccine waiting list here. You can also call 615-862-7777.
So far, Tennessee has received 574,000 total doses from the federal government. In his first full day in office, President Joe Biden will lay out his administration's plan for battling COVID-19 and sign several executive orders to implement new policies and travel restrictions.