The second round of vaccinations will soon be coming up and health departments across the state are gearing up for it.
“That’s top priority,” said Sherrie Montgomery, director of the Hamblen County Health Department. “It has to be.”
The Tennessee Department of Health announced Friday that it would be changing how it does business, as far as scheduling people for vaccine shots.
Corie Gouge, spokeswoman for the East Tennessee Regional Health Office, said Friday that starting on Monday there would be a public portal opening on the state web site for people to sign up for vaccines.
Click here for the state’s vaccine eligibility tool.
She said people will be able to easily access it on the web site, sign up and get on a waiting list.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” she said.
Currently, those available to receive vaccinations in Hamblen County are those 75 and older, first responders and all of those within the healthcare industry.
The next round of those to get vaccinated will include teachers and staffs in all schools.
Also, the state reported on Saturday that Hamblen County had a total of 834 active cases and 96 deaths.
The second round of vaccines is following up after the first round of vaccines have been conducted over the last two weeks.
There are currently two vaccines approved at this time for emergency usage – Moderna and Pfizer. Both vaccines require two shots.
Moderna requires people who receive the vaccine to come in after 21 days for the second shot, while Pfizer requires those vaccinated to come in within 28 days.
Montgomery said the health department first started with Moderna and switched to Pfizer.
Because of that, there will be some people needing shots within the same time range.
“There will be some overlap,” she said.
But, she said there is leeway for when the second shot is needed, she said.
“It can be on the day or four days after the day,” she said.
Ellen Fisher, a 77-year-old woman who is a retired pastor at First United Methodist Church in Morristown, said she got her shot this week.
Fisher said she was amazed at the treatment she got. She said she she easily signed up this week to get her first vaccination and when she showed up around 2:30 p.m. Thursday it was quick and efficient.
“It was just so perfectly done,” she said.
She said there were some people unable to come into the health department and health officials accommodated them. She said she was amazed with the professionalism.
“They just went out of their way,: she said.
She said she was given a piece of paper with a date on her second dose.
Tennessee health officials said Friday that starting this week they would start calling those on the phone needing to get their second vaccine. The first week of the second vaccines to start will be on Jan. 18.
Those receiving a call will be able to sign up over the phone or go to www.citizentribune.com on Monday for the link the new online site to sign up.