The Tennessee Department of Health is reminding adults aged 70 and older they are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

TDH estimates there are about 300,000 Tennesseans in the 70-74 year age group and only about one in three Tennesseans in this group have been vaccinated to date.

“It’s a top priority to protect Tennessee senior citizens who are the most vulnerable to hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and we don’t want anyone to miss out on their chance to be protected by vaccination,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “There are vaccination providers in every county of the state and we urge Tennesseans who are 70 or older to register now for this safe, free and highly effective vaccine that could save their lives.”

Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan prioritizes those at highest risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. People aged 70 to 74 have a 70% higher rate of death and a 40% higher rate of hospitalization from COVID-19 as compared to those aged 65 to 69.

TDH is partnering with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability and the AARP in outreach efforts to inform elder Tennesseans about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and how they may access vaccination.

TDH urges family members, community groups, faith organizations and other individuals and organizations that support seniors to share these resources and help Tennesseans age 70 and up register for their COVID-19 vaccination.

TCAD provides information for older adults about COVID-19 vaccination at www.tn.gov/aging/vaccines.html

AARP offers a guide for getting the COVID-19 vaccination at https://states.aarp.org/tennessee/covid-19-vaccine-distribution

Tennessee will continue to move through phases of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan as vaccine supplies increase each week. Tennesseans can find information on the phases eligible for vaccination in their county and, when eligible, register for vaccination through the 89 state-run county health departments at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/county-vaccine-information/

TDH has a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_1rSVHu-rw&feature=youtu.be to walk people through the online registration process. Due to their independent operations and larger populations, Tennessee’s metropolitan counties may have different instructions, so residents in these areas should check with local authorities about their plans.

Tennessee seniors who need transportation assistance to receive COVID-19 vaccination may learn about services offered by the Tennessee Association of Human Resource Agencies at https://tnhra.org/services/transportation/

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.

Find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination at https://covid19.tn.gov/data/faqs/

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