Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Knox County is significantly outpacing supply. With just 4,700 vaccines in hand—most of which went to health care workers and first responders—the Knox County Health Department must rely on the State and vaccine distributors with regard to how quickly it can vaccinate citizens. KCHD’s remaining doses have all been allocated for use this week.
Moving forward, availability and scheduling of clinics is dependent on vaccine supply. Until a regular vaccine delivery schedule is established, limited clinics will be scheduled.
“We know it’s frustrating, and we wish we had more vaccine, too,” said Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan. “We are glad so many people want the vaccine, but we just don’t have the supply right now. For instance, we don’t have enough vaccine to vaccinate every Knox Countian who falls in the 1a priority category, so be prepared that it could take many months to move through all of the phases.”
Just like with testing, locations and availability were limited at first—the same will be true with the vaccine. Eventually, other distribution points besides the health department and hospitals will open. As supply increases, so will the capacity for vaccinations.
CVS and Walgreens pharmacies are working with the federal and state government to build a plan to vaccinate those long-term care employees and residents.