Tennessee Department of Health updates COVID-19 vaccine plan to move up families of medically fragile children, correctional officers

The Tennessee Department of Health issued an update to its vaccine plan Jan. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Tennessee Department of Health issued an update to its vaccine plan Jan. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Tennessee Department of Health issued an update to its vaccine plan Jan. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Tennessee Department of Health announced Jan. 22 its has made another update to its COVID-19 vaccination plan to increase the priority of two at-risk populations.

The update moves correctional officers and jailers to be included in Phase 1A1, up from Phase 2 in a previous version of the plan.

The plan also now includes families of medically fragile children and children 16 and older with coexisting high-risk illnesses up to Phase 1C.

"Vaccination of their parents, caregivers and other household residents will help protect these children, as at this time no COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children under age 16," TDH officials said in a release. "Phase 1C also includes people age 16 and older who have medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19."

The TDH has also updated preliminary timelines on when those who qualify for the vaccine based on age could receive it. According to the plan, those age 70 and older could begin receiving the vaccine in late January through February, and those 65 and older could begin receiving their vaccines in March. However, the TDH has also stated the timelines are estimated and based on availability.


Currently, most counties in Tennessee are still in the earliest phases of the plan.

In a statement released Jan. 22 from the Williamson County Health Department, officials said while some counties across the state have moved to start vaccinating residents age 70 and older, Williamson County is still only vaccinating those in phases 1A1 and 1A2 as well as those age 75 and older. A timeline for when the county will move to the next phase cannot be predicted, as it is based on vaccine availability.

Williamson County residents can find more information about the current phases 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.


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