Health department moves to phase 1c, provides update on J&J vaccine
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department is moving to the next phase of vaccine distribution.
The department announced they’re moving forward with vaccinations for group 1c, a group that dramatically expands who can get an appointment.
“If you are 16 years and older, and you have a chronic health condition, then you pretty much qualify,” said Kim Tedford, the Regional Director for the health department.
Those conditions range from asthma and obesity, to heart conditions and pregnancy. To learn more about the eligible conditions, click here.
Tedford says the vaccine rollout has been accelerating with each clinic, and they are encouraged by the progress.
“We started to see that number of appointments go down, so that tells us we need to move to another phase because we’ve got this vaccine, we need to get it out in arms. We increased our appointment slots to about 720 starting Monday,” Tedford said.
She also clarified that, right now, local health departments do not expect to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
That’s going to be a vaccine you likely need to look for at pharmacies.
“You may see some independent pharmacies getting it. You may see some of the larger chain pharmacies getting it. I don’t have the answers to that right now,” Tedford said.
Tedford responded to those concerned about “efficacy.” She says every vaccine has been proven to work.
“They far exceed what our expectations were early on in this process. If you have a chance to get the vaccine, if you qualify for a phase and you have the opportunity to get it, please get whatever is available,” Tedford said.
And remember: there is a rapid response list you can register to be on.
Some clinics have leftover doses, and the health department needs to get those vaccines distributed before they expire. This could be how you get a dose.
“We don’t leave messages because we need them here in the next 20-30 minutes,” Tedford said.
As a reminder, if you make an appointment with the health department for a vaccine, you must bring your ID.
To make an appointment, call (1-888) 796-8894.