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"It will not cure selfishness" || Gov. Lee berates COVID-19 indifference as first vaccines arrive

Lee said the vaccine a powerful tool but it will take some time to have an impact. He called on Tennesseans to make good decisions in the weeks ahead.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrive at hospitals across Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee visited Vanderbilt University Medical Center to mark the historic occasion. 

While the topic of the day was vaccines, Lee started off by imploring Tennesseans to continue to wear masks and make good decisions to keep themselves and those around them healthy, especially as the state continues to report spikes in cases, hospitalizations and deaths after the Thanksgiving holiday.

"One thing that this vaccine will not solve, one thing that it will not cure is selfishness or indifference to what's happening to our neighbors around us. This vaccine will not cure foolish decisions about how we gather. It will not cure an attitude of a refusal to wear a mask. It will not cure having the idea that 'I will take chances and it will not impact someone else's life,'" Lee said. 

Lee said the vaccine is a powerful tool but reminded Tennesseans it will take some time to have an impact. He called on everyone to take responsibility and make decisions that could turn the tide against the coronavirus.

Lee said he will get a vaccine when it is his turn.

Dr. Lisa Piercey announced the state would be rolling out a vaccine dashboard on Friday. Starting Dec. 18, the state will publish vaccine data on Tuesdays and Fridays. It will include doses administered, the recency of the vaccines and demographic characteristics of those receiving the vaccine, including their county of residence.

She also said if Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is approved over the weekend, it will be shipped out to all 95 health departments across the state, the rest of the hospitals that did not receive the Pfizer vaccine and long-term care facilities. 

Officials chose to send this vaccine directly into the community because of its less stringent storage requirements.

"I, too, urge you to push so very hard over the next few weeks because, with the hope of this vaccine, this will be our last surge in Tennessee," Piercey said.

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