First COVID-19 vaccinations given

Shared photo

Overton County Ambulance Service Director Jim Morgan receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was administered by Overton County Health Department Nursing Supervisor Megan Reeder.

Overton County Health Department received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Dec. 21, and staff members began administering it to first responders.

The vaccine will also be administered to home health care providers, student health care providers, and group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in partnership with these organizations and local community emergency management agencies.

“We are excited to receive these vaccines and see our COVID-19 vaccination activities underway in our community,” Overton County Health Department Director Andy Langford said. “We’ve been preparing for months to distribute approved vaccines and we believe this will be a safe and effective tool in the fight against COVID-19.”

Tennessee Department of Health will provide data on COVID-19 vaccines administered in the state via a new online dashboard at www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/Vaccine.pdf. This dashboard will be updated each Tuesday and Friday.

Initial supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines are limited. The first allocations of both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in Tennessee will be used to provide first vaccine doses to individuals qualifying for Phase 1a1, as detailed in the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for Tennessee. Tennessee’s COVID-19 vaccination plan was last updated on December 2 and will be modified as more is learned about the vaccines Tennessee will receive.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable; each patient must receive two doses of the same vaccine to be protected against COVID-19. Those who choose to receive the vaccine will receive a card with the date of their first dose, the name/manufacturer of the vaccine received, and the date on which they should receive their second dose.

Tennessee’s local health departments continue to offer COVID-19 testing five days a week at no charge to those wishing to be tested. On Monday, Dec. 21, TDH testing sites across the state began employing self-testing kits for adults three days a week to allow staff members to transition to vaccination of frontline healthcare providers and first responders. Testing hours and contact information for TDH health department testing sites is available online at https://covid19.tn.gov/testing-sites/.