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All appointments full for next Knox Co. vaccine clinic; waiting list coming soon

KCHD said people were able to schedule an appointment online and by phone.

The Knox County Health Department has filled all 2,150 available appointments for COVID-19 vaccine clinics on February 1-3.

As expected, demand was very high. The online appointments filled up within thirty minutes.

The ones available to get by phone took a little longer because the process is more labor-intensive. The call taker has to get the information from the caller to fill out the forms.

KCHD said the call center received a high volume of calls throughout the day.

Next week, KCHD said it is planning to roll out a new online appointment portal that will allow people to sign up for a waiting list instead of having to immediately pounce on every vaccination opportunity. KCHD said it is still working out contractual agreements on the new system and will announce more once the new system is ready to go live.

Original story

The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) will open more than 2,000 first-dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments Friday at 11 a.m. for people 75 and older as well as those who qualify in the current vaccine rollout phases.

The appointments are for February 1-3 at the Knoxville Expo Center at 5441 Clinton Highway.

KCHD said people will be able to try and schedule an appointment online and by phone.

When accessing the scheduling website, individuals will be asked to verify eligibility requirements. A full list of the groups eligible in the first priority phases (1a1 and 1a2) can be found here

After reviewing eligibility requirements, individuals will see the vaccine clinic location, dates, and available appointments. From there, selecting the appointment and providing necessary personal information will work just as a number of other common appointment scheduling sites work.

At their appointment, individuals will be required to verify their employment (with a work badge that shows a name and/or photo) or age (with a legal form of personal identification, like a drivers’ license or passport) before the vaccine is administered.

KCHD said, like other vaccine appointment opportunities, it expects these appointments will fill up almost immediately because the demand far outweighs the supply. It only took a few minutes for nearly 1,000 appointments to fill up during the previous opportunity. 

This time the department is setting aside appointments specifically for people who call the public information line to schedule one at (865) 215-5555, in order to ensure people without internet access will have a chance at getting an appointment. KCHD said the call line will be incredibly busy once appointments open and is asking people to be patient.

Currently, Knox County is in Phase 1a1 and 1a2 of the Tennessee vaccination plan. This phase includes first responders, healthcare workers, mortuary workers, and dependent disabled adults. Anyone 75 and older is also included in the current vaccination phase. 

Next week, KCHD said it is planning to roll out a new online appointment portal that will allow people to sign up for a waiting list instead of having to immediately pounce on every vaccination opportunity. KCHD said it is still working out contractual agreements on the new system and will announce more once the new system is ready to go live.

Knox County's most recent vaccine report shows more than 25,500 people in the county have received their first COVID-19 vaccine. That's roughly 5% of the total county population based on the 2019 U.S. Census population estimate.