Local health department administers first Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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The Carter County Health Department Monday received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and began administering the vaccine to first responders, 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,” said Caroline Hurt, Carter County Health Department Director. “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.”  
Hurt said 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. These include first responders with direct public exposure as well as COVID-19 mass testing site staff, student health providers, hospital and free standing emergency department staff with direct patient exposure, home care staff, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
Tennessee’s COVID-19 vaccination plan was last updated Dec. 2 and will be modified as more is learned about the vaccines Tennessee will receive. It’s important to note these 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.
Hurt said Tennessee’s plan for allocation of COVID-19 vaccine has been thoughtfully developed with a focus on how best to serve our diverse populations and communities, and to ensure distribution of vaccination sites across all 95 counties, especially in rural areas and those with high concentrations of people in vulnerable populations.
Tennessee’s local health departments continue to offer COVID-19 testing five days a week at no charge to those wishing to be tested. TDH testing sites across the state will employ self-testing kits for adults three days a week beginning Dec. 21, to allow staff members to transition to vaccination of frontline health care providers and first responders.

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