Update from Medical Response Team
Given the complex and fast-changing landscape of COVID-19 vaccines, ETSU’s Medical Response Team* has provided an update on COVID-19 vaccines in our community.
Currently there are no COVID-19 vaccination requirements for faculty, staff, and students. Immunization requirements for incoming students are available on the University Health Center website.
At ETSU, we are tracking and following the plan set forth by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), which closely mirrors the recommendations of the CDC. TDH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. A graph and description of the state’s Vaccine Allocation Phases begins on page 13 of that document. Each county across the state is progressing through the Vaccine Phases at its own pace, meaning that different counties may be in different phases on the same day. The current phase and a contact number for each county’s health department can be found here and is updated frequently.
To find out when you will be eligible for vaccination in the State of Tennessee and to sign up for notifications, please visit the TDH Vaccine Eligibility Tool.
Individuals residing outside Tennessee should check with their state’s Department of Health for latest vaccine distribution information.
Regional Vaccine Status
In our Northeast Tennessee region, three local entities have received and are administering COVID-19 vaccines:
Ballad Health: vaccinating their team members and also working to complete vaccinations for community health care workers in the 1a1 (inpatient) and 1a2 (outpatient) groups
- ETSU Health providers and staff have had the opportunity to receive the first dose of the vaccine at a Ballad Health facility
- At this time, Ballad Health is no longer administering first doses of the vaccine at Ballad Health hospitals and is only giving second doses of the vaccine to local health care workers.
- Additionally, Ballad Health is providing vaccinations to community members 75 years and older who are patients with a medical record on file with either a Ballad Health Medical Associates primary care, specialty or an urgent care center. If you are a patient at one of these Ballad Health outpatient facilities, please call your Ballad Health Medical Associates provider’s office to schedule your vaccine appointment.
Local health departments: beginning Phase 1b (K-12 teachers, childcare center staff, and first responders), as well as anyone over age 75. If you are in one of these populations and have not yet received your vaccine, click here for more information and to schedule an appointment at a local health department.
- Pharmacies: responsible for vaccinating residents and staff of long term care facilities, such as nursing homes.
When will members of the ETSU Community be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Per the current TDH plan, university students, faculty and staff are not specifically identified as a priority group, which means that they would be vaccinated according to age or other priority such as comorbidities (multiple diseases or medical conditions as provided in the TDH plan). In other words, an otherwise healthy ETSU student, faculty, or staff member who is under 75-years-old is not yet eligible for vaccination, unless they are also a health care worker, first responder, K-12 employee, or childcare center employee. Again, to find out when you will be eligible for vaccination and to sign up for notifications, please use the TDH Vaccine Eligibility Tool. Additional TDH Vaccine information is available here.
Students participating in clinical rotations or working in K-12 education settings as part of their training should follow guidance from their respective schools/colleges.
Is ETSU Health giving vaccines?
ETSU Health has submitted an application to the state to become a vaccine provider, but has not yet been notified if approved to distribute the vaccine. We will certainly update the community if and when that happens; in the meantime, we encourage everyone to continue to wear masks, avoid crowds, wash hands, and practice social distancing as you await your opportunity to be vaccinated.
How can I learn more?
Visit this page frequently for updates and resources from the Medical Response Team.
- Ballad Health Vaccine Workgroup Newsletter (December 2020)
- Ballad Health Vaccine Workgroup newsletter archive
- CDC: Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
*The Medical Response Team consists of experts from East Tennessee State University’s health sciences colleges helping the university navigate important decisions and policies to protect the health and safety of the campus community and ETSU Health clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic.