SEVIERVILLE — A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health provided a response regarding recent issues experienced by some Sevier County School System employees trying to get their second COVID-19 vaccine at the Sevier County Health Department.
“A COVID-19 vaccine clinic was previously held, and the Moderna vaccine was administered,” said TDH associate director of communications Bill Christian. “Two people from the school system later showed up at the Sevier County Health Department vaccine site seeking their second dose — the Moderna vaccine — when staff only had the Pfizer vaccine available. They were asked to come at another time to receive their Moderna vaccine. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance states individuals should receive the same type of vaccine for both the first and second dose.”
The Mountain Press reported Tuesday that Preferred Pharmacy in Sevierville posted on social media April 1 that staffers there would provide second doses on April 2 to school system employees.
The post read, in part: “Are you a teacher that was turned away at the Health Dept. this afternoon for your 2nd shot?”
Drew Kitts, director of marketing for Preferred Pharmacy, said on Monday that 10-12 school system employees were booked for vaccines on April 2. He indicated that other people — not just school employees — had contacted the pharmacy after encountering trouble getting their second vaccine.
“It’s not just teachers,” he said.
When asked how many Sevier County School System employees have been vaccinated, Christian directed questions to the Tennessee Department of Education.
“We don’t track the number of vaccinations by occupation,” he said.
“We are not tracking this level of information from TDOE,” said Tennessee Department of Education director of communications Victoria Robinson. “The Tennessee Department of Health would have information on what level of information is being tracked in terms of percentages of different segments of the public being vaccinated.”
The Sevier County School System is currently on spring break.
According to a Tuesday report from the CDC, approximately 8 million teachers, staffers and childcare workers nationwide received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March. The number represents nearly 80% of the nation’s workers in those occupations.
Active cases of COVID-19 in Sevier County climbed by six Wednesday to reach 184, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
The state also reported one new death and one new hospitalization among county residents.
There were 10 positive results from 107 tests, for a positivity rate of 9.3%.
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