COVID-19 vaccine supply struggles in some counties across the state

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — According to the state department of health’s website, some counties in Middle Tennessee do not have vaccines currently available.

Warren, DeKalb, and Smith counties are among those listed for being out of the COVID-19 treatment. The website lists each county and how to make an appointment for the first doses depending on the current phase.

“I don’t think any of us have been satisfied with how quickly the vaccine rollout took place,” said Vanderbilt Infectious Disease Expert Dr. William Schaffner, “When we predict how much vaccine is going to arrive at a clinic, it either arrives late or less vaccine than had been told. Here in Tennessee, we got some of Minnesota’s vaccine. I mean that shouldn’t happen in the United States.”

Shipping is just one of the issues doctors say is preventing the projected 80,000 vaccines per week the state expected from getting directly into Tennesseans arms.

“I think the manufacturers overestimated initially how much they could produce rapidly,” Schaffner said.

But as things move forward and the weeks have turned into a month now, Schaffner says things are starting to smooth out.

“There hasn’t been in some local locations quite as much planning, they thought this would be just like giving flu shots. It’s more complicated as everybody quickly figured out,” said Schaffner.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have said their second vaccines are set aside for patients getting the treatment. Schaffner hopes the confusion on how distribution would play out will help create a quicker process.

“We’ve decided to get as much vaccine out there to give the first dose because the manufacturers have assured us, they can make plenty, more will be coming,” said Schaffner.

So far nearly 43,000 of the states 330,000 patients vaccinated have completed both doses and should have that immunity to the virus soon.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )

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