COVID-19: Current vaccines may be less effective on some variants
COVID-19 variants are surging in America and scientists are learning the vaccine may not work as well against them.
Tennessee announced the state will expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine as the state health department anticipates increased weekly vaccine supplies in the upcoming weeks.
Here’s the latest:
Who is eligible in Phase 1b?
Tennessee is moving into phase 1b of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, a stage that covers residents 65 and older, K-12 and child care staff and first responders. Air traffic control staff and air cargo personnel are now added to the phase in the updated vaccination plan, Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said Tuesday.
Tennesseans 65 and older, K-12 school teachers and child care staff will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Feb. 22, Piercey said.
Can you register for COVID-19 vaccine in Tennessee?
The department rolled out an online appointment system this week, which allows applicants to directly make vaccine appointments at county health departments rather than simply sign up.
Applicants must fill in their demographic information online and select a date and time for their appointments.
Eligible applicants can access the system at covid19.tn.gov.
What about Walmart COVID-19 vaccines in Tennessee?
About 120 Walmart locations in Tennessee are scheduling vaccine appointments and were, by the second week of February, to begin providing free shots by appointment only, according to an announcement by the Tennessee Department of Health.
To get an appointment at Walmart, Tennesseans must still be eligible for vaccination in the respective county where that Walmart is located. You can sign up for a Walmart vaccination at www.walmart.com/covidvaccine. The Walmart appointment system is complete separate from the appointment system used by county health agencies.
Who is in Tennessee’s 1c vaccine group?
- Tennesseans 16 Years Old or Older with High-Risk Health Conditions
- Chronic renal disease
- COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis, moderate-severe asthma
- Obesity (BMI >30)
- Heart failure, CAD, cardiomyopathies, hypertension
- Sickle cell (not including sickle cell trait) or thalassemia
- Diabetes requiring medication
- Cerebrovascular disease or stroke
- Immunocompromised (HIV, taking chronic steroids or immunomodulators, history of solid organ, blood or bone marrow transplant)
- Liver disease
- Household resident or caregiver of medically fragile individual of any age