With more COVID-19 vaccine becoming available, and the state moving on to Phase 1C, the Rutherford County Health Department has created a new website for residents to sign up to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination. The site is located here. The number of locations residents can go to receive the vaccination is also increasing. To receive the vaccine, you must fall within the phase designation and have an appointment.
“We are now able to book more appointments,” said LaShan Dixon, Interim Director Rutherford County Public Health Department. “Seniors 65+ are first, then those in Phase 1c, which includes persons with high comorbidities including pregnancy and caregivers of children with high-risk comorbidities.”
The Tennessee Commissioner of Health, Dr. Lisa Piercey, announced updates to the initial 1c plan. The additions include household contacts of pregnant women, those with neuromuscular disorders and individuals with Down syndrome. This includes caregivers of medically fragile children and adults falling within these categories. The complete list is below:
According to Dixon, about 50% of those currently eligible to receive the vaccine have received it in Rutherford County. This is about 12% of the county’s population. Currently, the Rutherford County waitlist is zero, after having been as high as 4,000 people. Sign-up is located at covidrc.com. The online form asks a few questions to help those signing up determine eligibility. While residents outside Rutherford County can sign up, Mathews Dixon says the Health Department prefers to vaccinate residents as the receipt of vaccine is based on county population.
“We have had a lot of great partners who have made both testing and vaccination possible,” said Dixon, “including EMS, law enforcement, and the National Guard…Also, State Farm, Middle Tennessee State University, the school systems, Middle Tennessee Medical Center, StoneCrest, and Ascension St. Thomas. St. Thomas was able to administer vaccine set to expire during the bad weather.”
In a recent COVID-19 reader’s poll by Rutherford Source, almost 46% of those who responded planned to get a vaccination as soon as it was possible. Another 7% plan to get the vaccine eventually, but wish to wait. Close to 24% more have already had the vaccine. Only 13% choose not to receive it, and 10% were undecided. On the average, herd immunity will occur when 75% of the population receives the vaccine. If these numbers remain consistent, the county has the potential to hit that percentage this year.
Currently, the vaccine is being administered at Lascassas Drugs; the former State Farm Service Center on Memorial Boulevard; 12 Stone Health Partners; Beckman’s Prescription Shop; Genoa Healthcare; the Walmart Neighborhood Markets on Fortress Boulevard and on New Salem Highway; and the Kroger stores on Veteran’s Parkway, Church Street, and Middle Tennessee Boulevard.
“Sam’s Club and Food City will soon be coming on board,” said Dixon. “But you must have a reservation to receive the vaccine, no exceptions.”
COVID-19 testing is also available through the Rutherford County Public Health Department. Drive-through PCR testing takes place every week at the State Farm Operations Center at 2500 Memorial Boulevard from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The rapid self-tests will be available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Rapid tests may be taken home to administer. Results are usually received within 72 hours.
Stay up to date on testing and vaccinations online at https://health.rutherfordcountytn.gov/testing or by calling the Rutherford County COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 615-898-7997.