Published February 4, 2021
Hamilton County, TN – The Hamilton County Health Department has begun adding new second dose appointment opportunities into their system.
New appointments for people in the eligible phases (1a1, 1a2 and adults ages 75 and up) can make their appointments at their website or by calling the Health Department’s Appointment Call Center Monday through Friday from 8AM – 4PM:
• First dose appointments: 423-209-5398
• Second dose appointments: 423-209-5399
The Health Department warns that due to high volume of calls, people may experience a busy signal and need to hang up and call back.
During a briefing on January 28th, Mayor Jim Coppinger said, “I know it can be irritating. We’ve got like eight call takers. There’s nothing we can do about the busy signals but once you get a recording that tells you all the appointments are all taken, then they are all taken. Going online is the best way to make reservations.”
The Health Department also announced that it has added a total of 2,924 new first dose Pfizer appointment opportunities to the schedule.
The current dates and locations for the new appointments are as follows:
• Feb. 8, 10 and 14 at River Park
• Feb. 11 at the CARTA Bus Barn
Pending arrival of another shipment vaccine, the Health Department plans to open up additional second dose dates for those who have already had the first inoculation of the Pfizer vaccine.
Health Department Director of Administrative Services, Sabrina Novak, stated that, “The Health Department plans on scheduling additional second dose appointments on February 17, 18, 21, 22 & 23.”
Novak stated that those appointments will not be made until they receive the shipment of vaccine to provide the inoculations.
“If your second dose date falls on or after those dates, please know that you will be able to make an appointment as soon as we receive the vaccine,” Novak said, ” Please do not make an appointment earlier than recommended; the second dose will only be given on or after the date on the back of the vaccination record card you received when you got your first dose.”
Hamilton County’s vaccine distribution is guided by phases according to the State of Tennessee’s Vaccination Plan. Only those eligible in the current phases will be able to make an appointment.
Phase 1a1 includes:
• Hospital/Free-Standing Emergency Department Staff with Direct Patient Exposure and/or Exposure to Potentially-Infectious Materials
• Home health care staff
• COVID-19 mass testing site staff
• Student health providers
• Staff & Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities
• (Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Centers, Homes for the Aged, DIDD Residential Centers, Group Homes)
• First Responders with Direct Public Exposure including Jailers
• Individuals >18yrs who cannot live independently due to serious chronic medical condition or intellectual or developmental disabilities
Phase 1a2 includes:
• Other Health Care Workers with Direct Patient Exposure
• Primary care providers and staff
• Outpatient specialty providers and staff working with acute patients
• Pharmacists and staff
• Patient transport
• Outpatient therapists
• Urgent visit center providers and staff
• Environmental services
• Oral health providers
• Behavioral health providers
• Outpatient laboratory staff working with COVID-19 specimens
• Funeral/mortuary workers with direct decedent contact
Age Group Bracket:
• 75 years or older, must be Hamilton County resident
• No specific medical conditions are required
Information to Know Prior to Appointment:
• Do not arrive more than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.
• Wear appropriate clothing to get a shot in upper arm
• Bring proof of Hamilton County residency (if applicable)
• Bring proof of Hamilton County employment (if applicable)
• Bring proof of age (if applicable)
• Bring COVID-19 Vaccine Encounter form (if possible; form available for download on registration page)
• Be prepared to wait 20 minutes after shot
• Be prepared for the entire process to take an hour or more
Vaccination Record Card:
• When patients receive their first dose with the Health Department, they will receive a Vaccination Record Card with the following important information.
• The vaccine manufacturer (either Moderna or Pfizer)
• The date the first dose of vaccine was given
• The date the second vaccine dose is due
The Health Department states that it is important to keep the Vaccination Record Card because when making the appointment for the second dose of vaccine, it helps ensure the correct product is received and in the correct timeframe.
The current recommendation is that second dose vaccinations be received either on or after the recommended date on the Vaccination Record Card, not before.
More vaccines may be available soon as Tennessee is expecting to see a 15% bump to its allotment of the Covid-19 vaccines. That would mean 13,000 additional vaccines a week.
Dr. Lisa Piercey, the Tennessee Health Commissioner, said that will increase the weekly supply from around 80,000 to 93,000 doses.
However, this is just for the first doses. The vaccine requires two doses in order to be the most effective, with the second one given around a month after the first. The supply increase does not include second rounds.