The Tennessee Department of Health released more promising news this week with the addition of those 65 years and older and phase 1b to the current vaccine rollout as of Feb. 22.

“Tennessee has administered more than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far, and we’ve made substantial progress in protecting our senior citizens who are over age 70 through vaccination,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP said. “While we remain focused on our seniors, who are the highest-risk population, we’re able to expand vaccine eligibility to these additional groups as our supply continues to grow each week.”

Phase 1b adds K-12 teachers and childcare staff as well as first responder operations personnel to those currently eligible to receive vaccination. Those who wish to schedule their vaccination appointments can do so online at or by contacting their local health department. The Giles County Health Department may be reached at 363-5506.

In addition, TDH released an updated vaccination plan which adds pregnant women to those who will be eligible to receive vaccination during phase 1c along with others with high-risk health conditions.

The department’s updated plan includes estimates on when later phases of the vaccine rollout may take place. Phase 1c is currently estimated to begin in either March or April and includes not only those with high-risk comorbidities but also those who are caregivers of children with such conditions.

Phase 2a/b will include critical infrastructure, while Phase 3 includes congregate living, grocery workers, corrections residents and staff of overnight camps. Age-based criteria will also be updated throughout the year with each age group adding 10 additional years to those eligible, although an estimated timetable for the age-based criteria is yet to be determined.

For more valuable resources on Tennessee’s COVID-19 vaccination plan as well as statistics and guidance about the coronavirus, visit

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