NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee will move into Phase 1c of vaccinations for those 16 and older with high-risk health conditions Monday, but Metro Public Health says they will not be verifying these health conditions.
“We will do just like I think all other health departments will do,” said Metro Public Health Department Spokesperson Brian Todd. “If you fall within one of those categories, we’re not going to ask for proof that you have one of those conditions.”
“What we’re trying to do is address equity and fairness and many of the people who really need this shot,” Todd explained. “They may be under-insured or have no insurance. They may have to take off work, go see a doctor, to get whatever that might be in terms of a medical record to show ‘Yes I have asthma or yes I have COP,’ any of the other conditions. And we don’t want to cause an added barrier there.”
Instead, they’re asking people to be honest and think of one another – those who are at higher risk of death if contracting the virus.
“You may have a parent or a grandparent or an uncle or friend who has those conditions. They need the shot,” Todd exclaimed. “If you choose not having any underlying health conditions, but you just feel like I want to get a shot and I will lie about having one of these conditions to get my shot, think about them.”
The vaccine is also not yet approved for anyone younger than 16, but the health department also won’t be verifying age. They’re asking parents to do the right thing.
“I don’t know that we would ask for someone’s birth certificate, when they come to…the Music City Center. That’s not something we’re going to do, but we would hope that they would tell the truth,” Todd explained.
In Tennessee, there are more than 1.1 million people in phase 1C, nearly 300,000 in Davidson County.
Todd said the health department is getting more and more vaccines every week, but it’s not enough to get through this many people within weeks. It’s going to take some time, and it will take even longer if people are not honest.
Appointments for this phase will be available at 7 a.m. on Monday, March 8. You can sign up for an appointment by clicking here.
For more information, you can click here or call 615-862-7777 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Health Department offers a Spanish language phone number to schedule appointments at 615-326-9986.
The health department will offer those in Phase 1c multiple appointment options each day, seven days a week for the next two weeks at the Music City Center. The Health Department expects to open additional slots each Friday for the upcoming two weeks.
Phase 1c includes the following:
- Caregivers (or household residents) of medically fragile children <16 years old (such as technologically dependent individuals, immunocompromised individuals, individuals with diabetes requiring medication, individuals with complex congenital or life-threatening cardiac conditions requiring ongoing medical management, individuals qualifying for a Katie Beckett waiver)
- 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
- Cerebrovascular disease or stroke
- Liver disease
- Immunocompromised or weak immune system (receiving chemotherapy, taking daily oral steroid or other immunosuppressant medication, living with HIV/AIDS, history of organ, blood or bone marrow transplant)
- Technologically dependent (such as individuals who are ventilator dependent, oxygen-dependent, with tracheostomy, chronically wheelchair-bound, require tube feedings, parenteral nutrition, or dialysis)
- Pregnancy: Those that are pregnant along with family members 16 and older that live in the same household. (NOTE: The CDC and World Health Organization have advised that pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women, and women who are pregnant are encouraged to discuss this decision with their medical provider.)
From availability to current phases, find vaccine information for every Tennessee county using News 2’s Vaccine Tracker map.