Colorado teachers move up on COVID-19 vaccine priority list

Tennessee pauses teacher vaccinations for COVID as older adults get priority

Tennessee teachers, school staff, and child care workers must wait for COVID vaccinations until after people 70 and older receive their shots, state officials said Friday.
The updated direction pauses the inoculations of school staff, which already had begun in some rural counties.
“The state is prioritizing individuals that are contributing to hospitalizations and deaths in Tennessee,” said Elizabeth Hart, a spokeswoman for the state health department. “Counties will provide vaccines to 75+ and then 70+ prior to moving on to teachers and school staff.”
“We hope to add teachers back to the list by early February, if not sooner,” Hart added.
The clarification came when Gov. Bill Lee told reporters earlier Friday that Tennessee had revised its distribution plan again. As of Thursday evening, more than half of counties in the state had run out of vaccine doses.
“We have made the choice … to open up our vaccines to Tennesseans 75 and over due to their risk in particular of hospitalizations and deaths,” Lee said, noting that the older population is the source of more than 50% of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
The governor drew praise after bumping up teachers and child care staff on the priority list effective as of Dec. 30 to receive their shots after health care workers, first responders, and staff members and residents of long-term care facilities.
The revision put educators and Tennessee’s oldest citizens next in line, with plans to overlap shots for both groups. Teachers in numerous rural counties began lining up for inoculations the day after.
As of Wednesday, 40% of Tennessee’s 95 counties had moved into the priority group that includes teachers. Those areas had smaller populations and fewer health care workers to inoculate after years of rural hospital closures.

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