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TN expects 1st shipment of Moderna vaccine next week

This shipment will help vaccinate more healthcare workers, first responders, and residents of long-term care facilities

TENNESSEE, USA — The Tennessee Department of Health expects to receive its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine next week, pending Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccine issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The state expects to receive an initial allocation of a total of 115,200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine over the next two weeks. The vaccines should be shipped for delivery on Dec. 21 to all 95 Tennessee county health departments.

“Tennessee county health department staff members will administer the Moderna vaccine to first responders, home health care providers and student health care providers in partnership with these organizations and their local community emergency management agencies,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey.

It will also go to the state's more rural hospitals, hopefully by Dec. 28, to vaccinate high-risk staff members. 

The Pfizer vaccine was delivered to larger hospitals, like UT Medical Center, and hospital systems including Tennova and Covenant Health, on Thursday. The state's initial shipment of Pfizer vaccine was 56,550 doses, though it may go further than expected.

"The FDA announced Wednesday that vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which are labeled as containing five doses, may include enough of the vaccine to provide six or possibly seven doses. FDA has announced these additional doses may be used, meaning Tennessee may have as many as 11,000 more doses of this vaccine to provide than originally expected," according to the press release.

According to the state's vaccination plan, the first doses of the vaccine will go to frontline workers at hospitals, first responders, long-term care facility residents and staff, home health providers and student health providers.

Both vaccines have to be administered in two doses, and the vaccines are not interchangeable.

"Those who choose to receive the vaccine will receive a card with the date of their first dose, the name/manufacturer of the vaccine received and the date on which they should receive their second dose," according to the press release.