Shelby County allowed roughly 2,400 COVID vaccine doses to expire this month, and the local health department has more than 50,000 doses in its inventory — twice what it should have — state officials said Tuesday. The findings come after health officials in Tennessee’s biggest county disclosed about 1,000 doses had expired earlier this month.
Public health officials in Tennessee had to work to use up COVID vaccine doses during last week’s snow and ice. But at least one batch of more than a thousand doses went bad.
Tennessee counties are saying goodbye to Signup Genius. Local health departments have been relying on the free scheduling website to coordinate COVID-19 vaccination appointments. But the state has now launched a customized online scheduling tool.
Nashville educators began receiving their first doses of the long-awaited COVID vaccine over the weekend. They were administered by health care workers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. About 1,000 Metro Nashville Public Schools employees had appointments.
The VA is putting out an open call to its patients in Middle Tennessee. Anyone over age 55 who can get to the Murfreesboro or Nashville campuses Saturday can get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Coronavirus cases have dropped even more in Nashville, with two days of fewer than 100 new cases. That’s likely because it’s harder to get tested right now with sites closed all week for winter weather. Still, the weather could be a net positive for slowing the pandemic.
Nashville had 400 doses of Pfizer vaccine about a day from the end of their shelf life (five days post-thawing). So with vaccination clinics closed all week because of icy weather, the city’s health department went to the Nashville Rescue Mission on Wednesday and set up a COVID vaccination clinic.
The winter blast that has frozen much of Tennessee is also slowing down movement of the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide. Memphis-based FedEx says it is sending some shipments through “secondary hubs” that are less impacted by the storm.
Metro Health officials plan to deploy “strike teams” to vaccinate special populations vulnerable to both COVID-19 and being left behind in the rush for doses, which are in short supply.
Nashville will be launching an education campaign and expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines in communities of color. Vaccination rates among Black and Hispanic Nashvillians have trailed that of white Nashvillians.