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County officials give update on vaccine distribution

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As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out, Williamson County officials issued a joint statement Friday to keep residents up to date on phases and the prioritization process.

The Williamson County Health Department is administering vaccines in a phased approach using a waitlist system, named the Williamson County COVID Waitlist. Vaccines are being administered by appointment only. 

“We have received numerous questions regarding this process,” said Hannah Bleam, external affairs officer of the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency. “We are asking our community to use our various information lines to receive the most up-to-date information and to be aware that other vaccine providers may be following a different process than what is outlined here.” 

Williamson County Phases 

Although some Tennessee counties are starting to vaccinate those age 70 and older, Williamson County is not starting this new age-based phase yet. Due to limited vaccine availability and population size, Williamson County is currently only vaccinating phases 1a1, 1a2 and those age 75 and older. Notifications will be issued when additional age groups and phases become eligible. 

Due to varying vaccine availability, there is not a predicted time as to when the county will move from one phase to the next.  

Individuals who are not eligible for any of the current phases should sign up for the Williamson County Vaccine Availability Alert System at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QR3TZSL to be notified when they are eligible. 

Vaccine Prioritization Process 

Currently, individuals in Phase 1a1, 1a2 and those who are 75 years of age or older are eligible to sign up on the Williamson County COVID Waitlist to receive a vaccination appointment. The waitlist link can be found at http://www.williamsonready.org/341/Health-Department-Vaccine-Distribution

The waitlist is used to fill available appointments so that no vaccine doses are discarded. Metropolitan health departments, such as Nashville, may be distributing the vaccine differently, as they are self-managed. 

Receiving an Appointment Date/Time 

When registering for the Williamson County COVID Waitlist, individuals will receive a confirmation page and email when they are added to the list. The Tennessee Department of Health will email, text and/or call individuals with information necessary to schedule a vaccine appointment when vaccine is available. 

Once the department sends this notification, individuals should be responsive. They will have a limited opportunity to respond to the notification and set up an appointment. Those who have missed their opportunity will need to sign up on the waitlist a second time.  

Due to limited vaccine availability and the amount of people waiting for a vaccination, it may take some time before individuals are contacted with an appointment, possibly up to several weeks. Individuals only need to sign up on the waitlist once. 

Second Doses 

Second dose appointments will be scheduled immediately after receiving one’s first dose and only at the same location where the first dose is received. In order to assist with scheduling and logistics, individuals should plan ahead to ensure they will be available to receive their second dose to avoid needing to reschedule.  

Vaccine Scams  

There have been reports of scams involving fake signup genius surveys that look like waitlists. Williamson County Emergency Management reminds individuals to only access the waitlist through reputable and verifiable sources. 

The waitlist is available through williamsonready.org/coronavirus on the page titled “Health Department Vaccine Distribution” and through the Tennessee Department of Health’s website at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/county-vaccine-information

Additional Resources 

The Williamson County Emergency Management Agency has created a page of vaccine information in Spanish, available at https://tn-williamsoncountyops.civicplus.com/349/Distribucin-de-la-vacuna

The county’s COVID public information line is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at (615) 595-4880. Follow Williamson County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.

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