Tennessee long-term care facilities next in line to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 23:55:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Health says at least 200,000 Tennesseans will be vaccinated by the end of 2020 as more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine continue to come in.

Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey held a press conference Monday afternoon to give updates to the ongoing COVID-19 surge and the state's vaccine efforts.

As of Monday morning, more than 16,500 Tennesseean’s (health care workers) have already been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. Those doses have been shipped directly to 28 sites covering 74 hospitals throughout the state.

The state received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine Monday, which will go to all 95 counties and health departments and about 40 smaller hospitals that didn't receive the Pfizer vaccine.

"We did get our first shipment of Moderna in the state earlier today, fortunately they all arrived intact and are already being administered."

Once all designated health care workers have been vaccinated, long term care facility residents and staff are next. Dr. Piercey said "One of the very largest populations driving both hospitalizations and deaths are our long-term care facility and that’s why they are in the very first population."

Pharmacies across the state will be going to those facilities give those vaccinations as early as next week.

"Over 90% of the long term care facilities in our state have opted into the federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens and the remainder have agreements with local and independent pharmacies," said Dr. Piercey.

Dr. Piercey says 70 to 80 percent of Tennesseans will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.