Tennessee updates COVID-19 vaccine plan; teachers, individuals over age 75 now included in Phase 1

The state of Tennessee's COVID-19 vaccine plan denotes the vaccination of individuals age 75 and older as being of a higher priority. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The state of Tennessee's COVID-19 vaccine plan denotes the vaccination of individuals age 75 and older as being of a higher priority. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The state of Tennessee's COVID-19 vaccine plan denotes the vaccination of individuals age 75 and older as being of a higher priority. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Tennessee Department of Health announced Dec. 30 it has made updates to the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccination Plan to move up high-priority populations.

Phase 1B of the updated plan now includes school and child care staff, including teachers. These groups were previously included in Phase 2 when the plan was updated in early December. They are now expected to begin receiving vaccines in February and March, according to a timeline released by the TDH.

The update also includes prioritizes access to the vaccine on the basis of age. Individuals age 75 and older are estimated to begin receiving the vaccine in January and later, and those age 65 and older are slated to begin receiving vaccines in February and March.

TDH Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said the update is intended to prioritize the vaccinations of those with a higher risk of exposure.

“COVID-19 vaccines remain limited at this time, and Tennessee’s allocation plan prioritizes those most at risk of illness and death from COVID-19,” Piercey said in a release. “The plan also prioritizes critical infrastructure workers who have direct public exposure or work in environments posing a higher risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.“


The state is still currently in Phase 1A, which is divided into two parts, according to the TDH. Phase 1A1 includes inpatient health care providers, first responders and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1A2 includes other health care workers and individuals age 75 and older.

Williamson County is in Phases 1A1 and 1A2 but is not yet vaccinating individuals age 75 and older, according to a county status update released Dec. 30.

Individuals in those phases who qualify for the vaccine should contact their employer or county health department for more information on how to receive the vaccine.

See the updated plan here.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.