JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – In a release from State Representative Dennis Powers, Powers shares information and experiences with regard to COVID-19 and the vaccination process.

Powers notes:

Our office has received many calls and emails about the phone system and web site for getting appointments for the Covid-19 vaccinations.  There have been some issues regarding both the phone and websites, but they hope to have them both resolved by the end of this week.  Tennessee is currently ranked third in the nation in getting their citizens vaccinated, but when you are trying to get an appointment and unable to reach anyone, that is not important.

Many have asked why the health department cannot set the appointments, but each state is dependent upon the federal government on the number of doses they receive.  Due to the logistics of getting the vaccine distributed as quickly as possible to the 95 counties and not knowing the exact quantities being sent to our state or distributed to each county, a centralized appointment system was necessary.

The best way to currently get an appointment is by calling the East TN Regional Covid Hotline number at 865-549-5343.  Hopefully, the phone lines will be working properly soon and a new web site platform is being developed to help those who want to get an appointment online.  Included are links that will help with eligibility guidelines and frequently asked questions.

  *   To date, more than 201,000 Tennesseans in these priority populations have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with over 87,000 of these vaccinations provided in the past week.  

*   Vaccine supplies are in extremely limited supply, and the demand for vaccines is great. We are pleased with the overwhelming interest Tennesseans are showing in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, and we are working as quickly as possible to provide vaccines as we receive additional shipments.  

*   Tennessee has consistently been ranked in the top 10 states for percentage of doses used and for total doses administered.  

*   Tennessee is dependent on vaccine supplies from the federal government. The federal government controls the maximum amount of vaccine doses that states receive, and Tennessee is requesting the maximum allotment at every opportunity.  

*   We are diligently working on system improvements, including the new online eligibility tool and alert signup HERE. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/08/2021-6AM)