Northeast Regional Health Office continues vaccine distribution, some counties having no vaccines

Local Coronavirus Coverage

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The third day of Northeast Regional Health Office vaccinating teachers and the elderly came with more problems.

News Channel 11 received calls about phone problems at various health departments.

COVID-19 vaccinations continued across the Tri-Cities with both those 75 and older and teachers being eligible in some Northeast Tennessee counties.

However, some of those counties didn’t have any vaccines to give.

“I’m really excited and grateful that I received word that vaccinations for our group continue today at one o’clock,” said Sherry Cockerham who is a Johnson City Schools curriculum coach. “We hopefully will get in here and get our first round of vaccines.”

Cockerham was first in line Monday at Freedom Hall where COVID-19 vaccinations were supposed to continue, but that wasn’t the case.

“A gentlemen from Freedom Hall came out and said that the vaccines they were counting on actually did not come in today,” Cockerham said.

Other counties in our region, including Greene and Johnson Counties, did not have vaccines available today.

The Northeast Regional Health Department said in a statement,

School Health Providers (Phase 1a1) and K-12 Teachers and Staff (Phase 1b) have been contacted to register for COVID-19 vaccines. All Phases 1a1, 1a2 and 1b people have received a registration link and instructions sent out to school superintendents/directors and primary points of contact within school systems for school employees.  Local health departments in the Northeast Region are currently completing vaccination of individuals in Phase 1a1 and Phase 1a2 in PODs (point of dispensing site) in each county.  Each county will transition to vaccination of Phase 1b as those initial phases are completed and vaccine supplies allow.  Counties may begin to vaccinate Phase 1b at different times depending on the number of individuals in each of the prior phases and the amount of vaccine available.

Northeast Regional Health Department

Meanwhile, it was long lines in Elizabethton for those registered and eligible for the vaccine.

“We were notified to call the health department on Saturday for people for age 75 and above and of course both of us are in that category,” said Tonia Sparks, a Carter County resident. “We called in and then they called today to tell us to show up between 1:30 and 4 o’clock.”

While they were able to get through, phone problems were an issue for others this weekend.

News Channel 11 received calls and messages from viewers saying they had trouble getting through to the health department to register.

We asked the health department about the problems and they said, “We are looking into addressing this issue and details will be available soon.”

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