Counties can offer COVID-19 vaccines to all adults if supply allows, Tennessee Dept. of Health says

Strickland and Harris ask state to open vaccinations to all adults in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Health said Friday counties can offer the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone as long as supply allows for it.

TDH released this statement following a request from the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County:

“As Tennessee continues working to protect those most at risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 and provide vaccinations as quickly as possible, counties may progress through each of the phases as vaccine supply allows. We will host a media briefing on Monday to discuss next steps and updates to the state’s vaccination plan.”

Harris said the state’s decision is great news for Shelby County residents.

“It is great news that the state will soon announce plans for all adults in Shelby County to be vaccinated,” said Harris. “As vaccine supply has increased, we have reached the point when it’s a good idea to provide access to all. I urge everyone—meaning every adult in Shelby County—to get the shot, and make the case to neighbors and loved ones about the importance of taking the vaccine.”

Vaccine eligibility expansion changes coming to Tennessee

The City of Memphis leads vaccination efforts for Shelby County, which announced the beginning of phases 2a and 2b and people 55 or older Thursday evening.

Phase 2a includes social services, commercial agriculture, commercial food production, corrections staff and public transit. Phase 2b includes transportation, public infrastructure, telecommunications and utilities.

People 55 and older are also now eligible for the vaccine.

Official plans to expand access to all adults have not yet been announced.

For those currently eligible, find a list of vaccine providers and make your appointment by visiting covid19.memphistn.gov.

Shelby County COVID-19 and vaccine update March 19, 2021
Shelby County COVID-19 and vaccine update March 19, 2021 (Source: Shelby County Health Department)

So far, about 234,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Shelby County with nearly 165,000 people receiving at least one dose.

The health department reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and five more deaths. So far, 89,960 people have contracted the virus in Shelby County and 1,544 have died.

See more COVID-19 data at shelbytnhealth.com/COVID-19data.

Shelby Co. wants to expand eligibilty, all adults could soon qualify

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