Scott Johnson of Bedford County Emergency Management Agency, who chairs Bedford County’s COVID-19 task force, says that many Bedford County citizens don’t realize they are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
This week, the state entered Phase 1c of its vaccination plan, which includes people whose health conditions place them at greater risk from complications related to COVID-19. These include obesity and high blood pressure, and those two conditions alone affect a high percentage of Tennessee’s population. Pregnant women and others in their household may also receive vaccinations in this phase.
A number of other health conditions are included, such as diabetes, heart conditions, Down Syndrome, immune deficiencies, and neuromuscular diseases. For a list of all qualifying conditions, go to https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/vaccine-phases/.
“We want those who are eligible for this life-saving vaccine to get it as soon as they’re eligible,” said Johnson. “And we don’t want the vaccine doses allocated to Bedford County to go to waste.” Johnson said Bedford County Health Department has administered record-setting numbers of COVID-19 vaccinations. However, the supply of vaccine is increasing, and the department has the capacity to administer even more doses.
Whether or not you are part of Phase 1c eligibility, you can go to http://covid19.tn.gov and complete the vaccination questionnaire. You’ll be notified when Bedford County Health Department has available vaccination appointments in your phase. Vaccination appointments can also be made by calling 866-442-5301 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Although Phase 1c is open to anyone 16 and older with qualifying medical conditions, Bedford County Health Department is administering the Moderna vaccine, and that vaccine has only been approved for those 18 and over.
You can also find other vaccination providers serving Bedford County by going to http://vaccinefinder.org. Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital (formerly Tennova Healthcare-Shelbyville) and several pharmacies in Shelbyville are offering the vaccine. You can contact those providers directly to find out about their procedures and availability.
“Vaccinating as many people as possible is a key to getting life back to normal in Bedford County, across Tennessee and throughout the U.S.A.,” said Johnson. “I urge everyone to make this a priority. COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 120 of our Bedford County friends, neighbors and relatives. This vaccine can help keep that number from rising.”
Tennessee will continue to move through phases of its COVID-19 vaccination plan as vaccine supplies increase.