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Tennessee will open up COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone 16+ starting April 5

The city of Memphis will open COVID-19 vaccinations to those 16+ starting March 26.

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — UPDATE 3/22/3021 - Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that starting April 5th, Tennessee will open up COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone in the state ages 16 and up. The city of Memphis announced that they will open vaccinations to those 16+ this Friday, March 26.

Currently, those 55 and older and those in Phase 2 are eligible to get the vaccine.

Find more on the phases and how to get an appointment in Tennessee HERE.

(Tennessee Department of Health News Release) - Tennessee Governor Bill Lee today announced all Tennessee adults will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination no later than April 5. Tennesseans aged 55 and older and those in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations effective Mar. 18.

Governor Lee shared the announcement in a video this morning: https://www.facebook.com/GovBillLee/videos/753448335309638. By April 5, all Tennesseans age 16 and over will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Eligibility for those in Phase 3 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan will run concurrently with age-based eligibility. Phase 3 includes residents and staff members of congregate living facilities including college dormitories, group homes and shelters and those in the corrections system. Phase 3 also includes grocery store workers who were not eligible for vaccination based on previous age or risk-based categories. To help ensure vaccines are available to these populations, direct allocations of vaccines will be made to these facilities.

Tennessee continues to see increasing supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, which allows the state to rapidly accelerate eligibility to receive the vaccination. TDH requests every dose of COVID-19 vaccine made available to the state:

“As we’ve promised, we’re able to expand our COVID-19 vaccine eligibility as vaccine supplies have increased and we’ve made substantial progress in protecting those most at risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Tennessee will now open COVID-19 vaccination to all eligible adults well ahead of the federal goal of May 1.”

Expanding COVID-19 Vaccination Eligibility

Effective Mar. 18, Tennesseans aged 55 and older and those in Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan are eligible. Phase 2 includes those who work in settings that have experienced high numbers of COVID-19 infection clusters, and whose work is critical to continuing vital state operations. These groups include:

  • Child welfare and adult protective services agency workers with direct public exposure
  • Commercial food manufacturing workers
  • Commercial agriculture workers involved in production and safety of food supplies and commodities
  • Corrections system workers not previously covered under Phase 1a1
  • Public transit drivers and maintenance personnel
  • People working in other transportation, public infrastructure, telecommunications and utility industries

Book Your Vaccination Appointment

Find vaccination providers in your area by visiting VaccineFinder.org. Tennessee county health departments across the state currently have appointments available for COVID-19 vaccination. Book an appointment with your county health department at COVID19.tn.gov. Those who need help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment with their local health department may call the TDH vaccine support line at 866-442-5301.

TDH reminds all Tennesseans that in addition to vaccination, wearing a face mask, maintaining social distance and getting tested when exposed or sick are critical to controlling the pandemic.

Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is available online at www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/COVID-19_Vaccination_Plan.pdf. Find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination at https://covid19.tn.gov/data/faqs/.


3/19/2021 - Local 24 News has learned Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has asked the state of Tennessee for permission to begin vaccinating ALL adults in Shelby County for COVID-19.

A city spokesperson said the mayor reached out Wednesday, and is waiting to hear back.

After learning of the request, Local 24 News got word from the Tennessee Health Department that the state is allowing counties to open up phases as supply allows.

"As Tennessee continues working to protect those most at risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 and provide vaccinations as quickly as possible, counties may progress through each of the phases as vaccine supply allows. We will host a media briefing on Monday to discuss next steps and updates to the state’s vaccination plan."

Thursday, Shelby County moved to vaccinating those in Phase 2a & 2b.

RELATED: City of Memphis releases latest COVID-19 vaccination schedule


3/18/2021 - (SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) - Pursuant to discussions and approval by state officials, effective immediately, Shelby County can now begin vaccinating individuals in Phase 2a/2b as set forth in the State of Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccine Phases

Credit: Tennessee Department of Health

For further information about vaccine phases and individual preventative measures, please see Health Directive 19, which can be found here: www.shelbytnhealth.com/healthdirectives.

If you qualify for either phase, please make an appointment to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Appointment availabilities are posted at https://covid19.memphistn.gov/ each Friday for the following week.

Those without internet access or who need assistance in setting an appointment may call 901-222-7468 (SHOT) for assistance.

Vaccines are available in all 95 counties and administered based upon individual risk and the phases outlined below. Phases will vary by county based on vaccine supply and uptake. Additional information regarding the vaccines can be found . Tennesseans are encouraged to discuss with their doctor if the vaccine is right for them.
Public Vaccination Locations The City of Memphis is now operating public COVID-19 Vaccination Sites, Mondays - Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Only citizens who meet the eligibility criteria will be vaccinated, and appointments are required. Citizens should not arrive more than an hour before the scheduled appointment time.

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