Sumner County residents who are eligible can sign up to receive a Covid-19 vaccination appointment, however officials say supplies are still limited.
As of Jan. 7, there had been a total of 4,903 Covid-19 vaccinations given countywide, according to the most recent data provided by the Tennessee Department of Health.
“The Sumner County Health Department, the clinical side and the administrative side, is doing a great job,” Sumner County Emergency Management Agency Director Ken Weidner said about the vaccination rollout so far. “The problem is vaccine availability. We should be vaccinating 2,000 to 2,500 people a day and we’re not. We’re limited… in regard to the amount of vaccines we’re receiving.”
Individuals who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine include anyone 75 years of age or older, high exposure healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, first responders, adults who cannot live independently and outpatient healthcare workers with direct patient exposure including mortuary services.
Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements can register to get an appointment through the state’s website at www.signupgenius.com/go/sumner_priority_list or by calling 1-866-442-5301 for assistance.
Those individuals will be added to a priority list and will be contacted when an appointment time is available, according to Bill Christian, spokesman for the state health department.
“We are pleased with the overwhelming interest Tennesseans are showing in receiving Covid-19 vaccinations, and we’re providing them as quickly as possible as we receive additional shipments of vaccines,” Christian said. “Availability of vaccines varies by county, and counties may progress through Covid-19 vaccination phases at different times depending on supplies of Covid-19 vaccines and interest in receiving them.”
Statewide, a total of 215,427 vaccinations had been given as of Jan. 7, according to the state health department. Of those, 29,632 had been administered during the previous seven days.
Each person who receives their first dose of the vaccination will be given a card with information that includes instructions for getting their second dose, according to Christian. Health department officials also expect to receive enough shipments of second doses in time for the 21-day or 28-day vaccination due dates.
As of last week, 4,561 individuals had already received their second dose of the vaccine, according to state health department data.
“What I’m being told is we’re in good shape on (availability of) the booster vaccine,” Weidner said.
New Covid-19 cases remain high
As of Monday afternoon, there had been a total of 17,473 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 reported countywide along with 224 deaths from the virus reported since mid-March, according to state health department data. In Tennessee, there had been 567,602 confirmed cases and 6,659 confirmed deaths.
There have been more than 1,000 new weekly cases in Sumner County during seven of the last nine weeks – the most since the pandemic began.
In a video posted on Sumner Regional Medical Center’s social media accounts Jan. 7, doctors said there had been an average of 45 Covid-19 inpatients treated at the hospital during the first week of the new year.
“We are concerned that gatherings over the holidays may lead to increased numbers over the next week or two and we’re definitely prepared to adjust our operations as needed to respond to those,” Sumner Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Geoff Lifferth said in the video.
Residents are still encouraged to avoid gatherings outside of immediate family, wash their hands regularly and socially distance from others when in public. A countywide mask mandate also remains in effect through Feb. 27.
“Despite the fact that we’ve had the successful vaccine rollout, we’re still in the middle of a very serious pandemic,” Dr. Brian Reed said during the Sumner Regional video. “Additionally, if you are having any type of Covid-19 symptoms or any other emergency type symptoms that are unrelated to Covid-19, please do not delay your care and seek treatment immediately.”