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Metro health officials hope to lower the age for COVID-19 vaccines by end of February

coronavirus vaccine filephoto
Posted at 12:42 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 13:42:49-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Despite receiving the go-ahead from the Tennessee Department of Health, adults aged 70 to 74 will not be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Davidson County just yet.

Due to an increased allocation of vaccine supply, the state was able to lower the age from 75 years old to 70 this week. However, the Metro Public Health Department said Davidson County is not yet ready to lower the age due to the number of adults 75 or older who are still waiting to receive a vaccine.

TDH said earlier this week the state's metropolitan counties such as Davidson County may not be able to offer it to the 70 to 74 years old population due to the supply. While Tennessee began to receive more doses from the federal government, TDH Commissioner Lisa Piercey said it is still not enough to meet the demand.

MPHD said it hopes to be able to offer the vaccine to the 70 to 74 years old population by the end of February. The department said it will be able to lower the age once everyone on the waitlist has been vaccinated.

Residents 75 or older can sign up to be added to the waitlist for a vaccine appointment online by clicking here or by calling 615-862-7777.

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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.

Prevention

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.