According to a report released Tuesday morning from the Knox County Health Department, Knox County has administered more than 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The number includes both first and second doses.
Out of the four largest metro counties in Tennessee -- Davidson, Shelby, Knox and Hamilton -- Knox County is currently leading in percent of population vaccinated with both doses.
“I am incredibly impressed at the speed with which we have been able to administer this many vaccinations in our community,” Glenn Jacobs, Knox County Mayor, said. “We have a ways to go, but hopefully we are well on our way to moving beyond COVID-19.”
Hospitalizations and new, daily COVID-19 cases have also been steadily trending down in Knox County. With only 35 new cases reported yesterday and a growth rate of 0.09% according to the Knox County website, this is the lowest amount of new cases reported each day since last summer.
“With each day, more people in Knox County are able to receive this much-desired protection against COVID-19,” Martha Buchanan, Senior Director and Public Health Officer, said. “This encouraging milestone wouldn’t be possible without the strong partnerships between KCHD, our regional hospital systems and many other health care providers across our community.”
Despite these vaccine milestones and dropping number of new cases, the Knox County Health Department still stressed the important of following the “five core actions.” These actions include: wearing a mask, maintaining at least six feet of distance from those outside your household, washing hands regularly, sanitizing surfaces and staying home if you are sick.
The vaccine is still only currently available for those in the first three priority groups, which include health care workers, childcare staff, K-12 teachers and staff and those 65 years and older.
A full list of those currently able to get the vaccine in Knox County can be found on the Health Department’s website. Those that are eligible may sign up for notification of vaccination opportunities on the Health Department’s waitlist.
The Knox County Health Department isn’t the only organization giving out the vaccine, however. Within a 25 mile radius of downtown Knoxville, there are 50 different places offering the vaccine.
For a full list of locations where you might be able to get the vaccine, you can visit the CDC’s new vaccine finder webpage. By entering your ZIP code, you can find a list of places administering the vaccine anywhere from one to 50 miles from you. The website also shows which locations have doses in stock and which company’s vaccine they currently have.
Though Knox County is still in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout, officials are hopeful that those without preexisting issues or those not working in high risk areas may be able to get the vaccine sooner rather than later.
In an interview with the “TODAY Show” in February, Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president, said that he predicts that it will be “open season” for vaccinations by April.
“Virtually anybody and everybody in any category can start to get vaccinated (by April),” Fauci said. “From then on, it would likely take several more months, logistically, to get vaccines in arms. Hopefully, as we get into the middle and end of the summer... the overwhelming majority of people in the country can get vaccinated.”