Tennessee to expand vaccine eligibility to younger residents
Published 2:44 pm Monday, March 22, 2021
By KIMBERLEE KRUESI Associated Press
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee will soon allow all residents 16 and older to receive the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday.
Tennessee had been distributing the vaccine to health care workers, first responders, senior citizens and people 16 and older who have high-risk health conditions — including cancer, hypertension, obesity and pregnancy — as well as caregivers and household residents of medically fragile children.
However, starting Monday, Lee said that two new groups would be eligible, including Tennesseans 55 and older and those who work in critical infrastructure industries.
By April 5, anyone 16 and up will be able to receive the lifesaving shot.
“The federal government has asked us to make sure every adult can receive access by May 1, and Tennessee will beat that deadline,” Lee, a Republican, said in a video announcement, noting that a few counties were planning on starting earlier but didn’t disclose which ones.
State data showed that about 19% of the total population was at least partially vaccinated against the disease that has killed more than 11,600 people in Tennessee.
Tennesseans should check with their counties to learn more about eligibility and registration. Furthermore, residents in the state’s metropolitan areas may have different instructions.