Knox County is Receiving 6,682 Vaccine Doses This Week, the Largest Share is Going to UT
In response to a public records request, Knox County Health Department says it requested more than 9,000 first-dose vaccines from state health officials this week and is receiving just shy of 6,700.
Knox County Health Department determines how these vaccines are distributed to authorized community vaccination sites. Up until this week, KCHD has not publicized which providers are receiving vaccine doses or how many.
The new data show the largest share of this week's first-dose vaccines have been allocated to the University of Tennessee, more than 2,500. About half of these will go to UT Medical Center, and the rest are going to the student health center and pharmacy. The university is holding a public vaccination event this Friday, and a private vaccination event for eligible students and staff on Wednesday.
Knox County Health Department is retaining 1,500 first-dose vaccines to distribute this week. According to county health director Martha Buchanan, there are about 17,000 people on the county health department's vaccine waitlist. Buchanan said the county is not planning to hold another walk-in vaccination clinic, but will instead rely entirely on the waitlist. Eligible individuals can sign up for the vaccine waitlist at the health department's website or by calling (865) 215 - 5555.
Most of the remainder of the county's 6,682 vaccines for the week are going to four independent pharmacies, including 900 doses to Volunteer Pharmacy near Karns, and 800 doses to Summit Medical Group. Only one nonprofit health clinic is receiving vaccine doses this week: Interfaith Health Clinic, which has been allocated 100 doses.
The Knox County Health Department said in a statement, "Just because an organization was allocated vaccine doesn't mean that vaccine is available for folks to call and request it, the organization may already have established plans to distribute the vaccine to eligible individuals."
County health officials are encouraging residents to use the Tennessee Department of Health's newly launched vaccine finder, which allows residents to search for vaccination sites by zip code. Local Walmarts and Sam's Clubs are included in the vaccine finder. The number of doses allocated to these vaccination sites is determined through a federal partnership and are not included in the county health department's weekly vaccine allocation.
Currently, anyone aged 65 and older, or those in the 1a1, 1a2 and 1b vaccination groups are eligible. This includes teachers, child care staff, healthcare workers and first responders.