The state’s six nonprofit science museums have jointly decided to promote vaccines this August during National Immunization Awareness Month. The Science Alliance of Tennessee’s initiative is intentionally broader than COVID to sidestep the politics of the pandemic.
With school starting for most in the next two weeks, Tennessee doctors are raising concerns about the Delta variant’s spread, as kids under 12 are the only people left who still don’t have an option to vaccinate and fatal cases of the virus continue to rise in children.
Some places, like Los Angeles and Kansas City are already reinstating mask mandates as the delta variant of the coronavirus takes hold. But in Nashville, that’s not in the cards.
The country’s largest Catholic hospital system says its employees must get the shots by mid-November, joining the likes of Vanderbilt University Medical Center locally, as COVID cases and hospitalizations across Tennessee continue to spike in the unvaccinated population.
Republican lawmakers are urging more residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A letter signed by 16 state senators touts the benefits of the shots and warns about the danger of not getting them.
Conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine has been silent since he was admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. Meanwhile, his social media has been exploding with debate between his supporters and critics since, throughout the last year, the Supertalk 99.7 WTN host has been a staunch and vocal skeptic of the COVID vaccine.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center will become the first hospital system in the region to require COVID vaccination of employees, starting with those in leadership roles.
Tennessee will resume school-based vaccination events next week after putting them on hold over concerns from state legislators. The state health department will also continue providing the vaccine to older teens without parental consent if necessary, which is what Republican leaders had expressed urgent concerned about.
Tennessee’s governor has come out in support of the health department’s recent actions that landed the state in the national spotlight — that being the firing of the state’s top vaccine official, Dr. Michelle “Shelley” Fiscus, which prompted questions about vaccine outreach to children.
Lawmakers on the Government Operations Committee met Wednesday and made no mention of dissolving the state’s health department, as suggested at a meeting in June.