Health Department Announces Changes to COVID-19 Vaccination Process

Hamilton County, TN (Press Release) – The Hamilton County Health Department announces changes to their COVID-19 vaccination process. The following changes will be implemented immediately:

1)     The Health Department will continue to use the Tennessee Department of Health’s phased allocation plan, however, an additional alphabet system will be used to limit the traffic at the Riverpark POD site. For example, one day will be for A-K, another day for L-Z. To be admitted into the site, you must first fall into the current phase category, and secondly into the alphabet group for that day. The current phase and age brackets are continually updated and can be found on the Health Department’s vaccination webpage.

2)     Traffic will be routed through Chattanooga State Community College’s main entrance.Hamilton County’s Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security and partners will oversee this process. The intent is to reduce traffic backup on Amnicola Highway.

3)     A Health Department screening station will check each individual for eligibility. Please be sure that you fall into that day’s phase criteria and alphabet group to avoid waiting in line and being turned away.

4)     At the screening station,eligible individuals will be given an encounter form with an individualized number. Encounter forms are only given at the screening station, they cannot be emailed, mailed, or otherwise gotten beforehand.

5)     To ensure that no vaccine goes unused, the Health Department will offer the opportunity for those already in line near the end of the daily allotment of encounter cards to wait to see if any end of day doses remain.

6)     The Health Department’s goal is zero wastage of vaccine and will monitor doses given in as close to real time as possible.

7)     Additional portable toilets have been added to the traffic wait line, to include handicapped accessible ones.

“We ask the patience of the community as we work through major logistical hurdles with this vaccine, as we are limited by the number of doses we receive in any shipment,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes.  “As more vaccine becomes available to us, we will open more sites and operate for more hours.”

The vaccine POD at the Riverpark will reopen on Tuesday, January 5 and 6th with approximately 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine each day. Check the chart below to review your last name qualification.

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Date Phase Qualification Last Name Qualification Brand # of Doses 2nd Dose Due
Tues. Jan. 5 1a1, 1a2, 75 and up Begins with A-K Moderna 1,000 Feb. 2
Wed. Jan. 6 1a1, 1a2, 75 and up Begins with L-Z Moderna 1,000 Feb. 3

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What: Hamilton County Health Department’s COVID-19 Vaccination Drive-Thru POD (Point of Dispensing)

Where: Enter at Chattanooga State Community College’s main entrance, 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406.

Who: Individuals with Phase 1a1 or 1a2 status who live or work in Hamilton County. Hamilton County residents 75 years of age or older.

When: Tuesday, January 5th from 9AM-5PM (Last name begins with A-K)                        Wednesday, January 6thfrom 9AM-5PM (Last name begins with L-Z)

Details: Proof of meeting phase criteria or residency must be shown at the entrance.Proof of eligibility can be a document showing current address, work ID, badge, letter or email from your employer, or a pay stub. Must show proof that you either live or work in Hamilton County.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two dose regimens. The second Pfizer dose is due 21 days after the first, and the second Moderna dose is due 28 days after the first. Recipients will be given a reminder card with this information on it.

No appointment is necessary. Note, additional dates for these Phases will be announced as new shipment arrives. The Health Department is unable to predict how many doses are shipped to them and the amount varies from shipment to shipment. The current phase and age bracket groups will be updated regularly on the Health Department’s website, social media, and email newsletter, for which you can sign up here.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News