Tennessee Anticipates Receipt of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Week of Dec. 14, 2020

From the Tennessee Health Alert Network

December 14, 2020


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the approval of the Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommendations released from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Tennessee anticipates receipt of 56,550 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine beginning the week of December 14, 2020, followed by a second shipment of 56,500 doses approximately three weeks later.

The first and second Pfizer vaccine shipments will be used to provide first and second vaccine doses to individuals qualifying for Phase 1a1, as detailed in the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccine Plan last updated December 2, 2020 found here. The Plan was informed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Framework for the Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ACIP, and a robust stakeholder group consisting of 30 organizations, offices, and associations representing a wide swath of Tennesseans.

Tennessee’s Phase 1a1 includes:

  • individuals working or volunteering full-time or part-time in hospitals and free-standing emergency departments who have direct patient exposure or contact with potentially infectious materials
  • individuals providing home health services
  • staff of mass-COVID-19 testing sites
  • individuals providing student health services in K-12 schools, colleges and universities
  • staff and residents of long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, residential homes for the aged, group homes for individuals incapable of independent living, and residential facilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • first responders (volunteer or paid) with direct public exposure

As demand for vaccine will exceed supply, individuals qualifying for Phase 1a1 should be further prioritized to provide individuals from the following groups at the first opportunity:

  • age 65 years
  • currently undergoing treatment for cancer
  • history of chronic kidney disease
  • history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • history of serious cardiac disease (excluding hypertension)
  • history of sickle cell disease (excluding sickle cell trait)
  • history of diabetes types 1 or 2
  • those with obesity with body mass index 30
  • history of solid organ transplant (heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas)

Healthier Phase 1a1 individuals should be offered vaccine after these sub-prioritized populations have had the opportunity to receive vaccine.

Most individuals qualifying for Phase 1a1 will receive vaccine through their employer or through events coordinated through their county department of health. Please look for communications from those entities for details of vaccination events. Long term care facilities will be  vaccinated through the federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS, through agreements with local pharmacies, or through vaccination strike teams deployed across the state.

Pfizer vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage at -700C, may not be relocated from one facility to another for storage and administration, but hospitals may deploy vaccination teams that take vaccine under refrigeration from one site to another for use during vaccination events.

Once Phase 1a1 individuals have had the opportunity to receive vaccine, facilities may begin vaccinating Phase 1a2 individuals.

Tennessee’s Phase 1a2 individuals include the following:

  • Primary care providers and staff
  • Outpatient medical specialty providers and staff
  • Pharmacists and staff of outpatient pharmacies
  • Staff providing transportation for patients to attend medical appointments
  • Outpatient therapy providers
  • Urgent visit center providers and staff
  • Environmental services staff
  • Oral health providers
  • Behavioral health providers
  • Laboratory staff working with COVID-19 specimens

As demand for vaccine will exceed supply, individuals qualifying for Phase 1a2 should be further prioritized as detailed above for Phase 1a1.

Most individuals qualifying for Phase 1a2 will receive vaccine through their employer or through events coordinated through their county department of health. Please look for communications from those entities for details of vaccination events for Phase 1a2 individuals.

For more information on specific vaccine recommendations from the ACIP, please see the CDC’s December 13, 2020 publication of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Additionally, general COVID-http:19 vaccine information, as well as information for health care providers, may be found on the TDH COVID-19 website.

Members of the public with questions may be referred to the website or to 877-857-2945 or 833-556-2476. Live operators are available from 10am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Health care providers with questions may visit the health care provider website or call 615-741-7247 to speak with a member of the TDH Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness Program (CEDEP) team.