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Tennessee’s former vaccine official mailed dog muzzle before being fired

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:04 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:25 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The controversy surrounding the firing of a Tennessee top vaccine official continues to grow.

Tennessee’s former vaccine official Dr. Michelle Fiscus says someone mailed her a dog muzzle a week before she got fired.

Fiscus showed WMC Action News 5 the muzzle she says was sent to her. Fiscus says she feels she was fired for sharing factual information with doctors about vaccinating minors.

She believes last week’s strange delivery was meant to make a statement.

”I said that they obviously didn’t know me because they sent me a size three, which is for beagles. And I’m obviously a pit bull,” said Fiscus.

Fiscus says the department of health was told to no longer do immunization outreach of any kind for children, including outreach in schools.

Her statement is backed up by a situation report from the state health department obtained by NBC affiliate WSMV in Nashville says, per Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey:

“Health department staff may not hold any immunization events in or on school property or hold any COVID-19 vaccine events at organizations whose clientele are solely children.”

RELATED | Tennessee governor pushes back on youth vaccination claims

Governor Lee’s office sent a statement that said in part:

“Despite misleading reporting, the Department of Health has not halted the Vaccines for Children Program that provides information and vaccine access to Tennessee parents. The department is mindful of ensuring parents, not kids, are the intended audience...and has simply re-evaluated some tactics like reminder postcards and follow-up communications.”

The Shelby County Health Department, which is independently run, says the state’s changes will not impact its vaccination outreach.

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