Officials discuss vaccine distribution, treatment options
JACKSON, Tenn. — Healthcare officials say they are making progress in fighting COVID-19, through vaccine distributions and antibody treatments.
Jackson Mayor Scott Conger says the City of Jackson and Madison County are top 10 in the state in COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Madison County, as of this morning, is the sixth county in the state on vaccine distribution based on population,” Mayor Conger said.
Healthcare officials say they haven’t wasted a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine thanks to their rapid response list.
“We have not wasted one drop of vaccine. We have not wasted any doses. Every dose that we’ve drawn up has gone into somebody’s arm,” said Kim Tedford, Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department director.
“To my knowledge, in my conversations around the state, we are the only county in Tennessee with a rapid response list,” Mayor Conger said.
Nashville recently announced that they’ll be making a list.
And West Tennessee Healthcare is also promoting a new therapy, called monoclonal antibodies.
“If you are COVID-positive and less than 10 days out from the onset of your symptoms, please talk to your provider about being scheduled for this infusion because it’s seeing a lot of promise,” said Amy Garner, chief compliance and communications officer for West Tennessee Healthcare.
Bamlanivimab is a monoclonal antibody that West Tennessee Healthcare has been using since November.
“We’ve now given almost 1,100 infusions of the monoclonal antibody treatment that you all have heard me talk about,” Garner said. “Out of almost 1,100 patients, we’ve only seen about 10 patients that have had to be hospitalized in that group.”
This, along with vaccinations, is what they believe will help stop the pandemic.
“It’s keeping people out of the hospital. It’s keeping you from getting sick enough to have to be hospitalized. So, that’s a great thing for our community and our hospitals across the region,” Garner said.
Madison County is currently still in Phase 1A2 of vaccinations, with plans to start 1B on Friday with Jackson-Madison County School employees.
The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department is not accepting appointments for vaccinations at this time.