COVID-19 vaccine update — March 2021, Chattanooga, TN

Amanda and Van are two local community members who have volunteered at testing sites. | Photo by Hamilton County Health Department

Almost a year after state and local officials issued stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, one local testing site is converting to a vaccine location + area residents are slowly starting to prepare for life-after-inoculation. 

Now, as we look forward to the next stage of the pandemic — vaccines here’s a quick-and-dirty COVID-19 update

Vaccination eligibility 

🦠Thursday afternoon, the health department announced new vaccine eligibility to include adults 55+, in addition to everyone in groups 1a1, 1a2, 1b, and 1c. It’s effective immediately. 

“Many first dose appointments are currently available for various days and the Health Department does not want them to go unused.” — Hamilton County Health Department

🦠 First-dose information + signups
🦠 Second-dose information + signups 

🦠 Once you get your first dose, the health department will give you a card with information about when to get your next vaccine. You must sign up for the second dose and do it within the needed timeline, which is three or four weeks, depending on the brand of dose. 

I’m vaccinated, now what?

There have been some one-dose vaccines in town, and 42,210 people in Hamilton County have now received both doses of those that require two. 

So, now what?

You still need to wait two weeks after your second dose to be considered fully vaccinated. 

And, even then, the CDC is asking people to keep wearing masks and practicing social distancing in public. 

The federal organization also discourages unnecessary travel and hasn’t made any recommendations yet about going to restaurants. 

Fully vaccinated people can gather without masks indoors if they are with other vaccinated people. You can also meet with unvaccinated people from one household at a time, if those people are considered low risk, according to the CDC. (News Channel 9)

The numbers 

83,743 first dose 42,210-second dose vaccines given in Hamilton County

✅ About 50% of vaccine appointments in East Tennessee are being filled

✅ More than 1.3 million Tennesseans have gotten at least 1 dose

✅ More than 2 million vaccines have been given in the state

✅ Roughly 10.4% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated — or 701,325 residents

Here’s the context 

Tennessee falls near the bottom when compared to all states in terms of the percentage of the population that’s fully vaccinated.

Bonus: We’re still under a mask mandate in Hamilton County through March 31.

Testing sites

You can find testing site details on the health department’s website