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Tennesseans can cross county lines for vaccine

The Tennessee Department of Health said residents in the state are able to cross county lines for the vaccine, but the practice is not encouraged.
Flowers Hospital administered all 400 of the Moderna vaccine doses they had for the first come,...
Flowers Hospital administered all 400 of the Moderna vaccine doses they had for the first come, first serve clinic on Tuesday morning. Photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.(WTVY)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:19 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Department of Health said residents in the state are able to cross county lines for the vaccine, but the practice is not encouraged.

“Vaccine tourism,” the practice of going somewhere else to obtain the coronavirus vaccine rather than getting it in your own county, is something not just Tennessee is facing. At the end of January, Florida officials were grappling with the same issue, saying 1.1 million vaccines had been distributed in the state so far, and more than 39,000 were distributed to people outside of Florida. Some counties in the Sunshine State said they would prevent people from outside from getting a dose.

Days before Tennessee allowed teachers access to the vaccine, a Knox County teacher drove hours to get her first dose in Hawkins County.

“It is not a problem if they want to cross county lines,” health department Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said. “We encourage them not to do that, but I also understand that there are people that are very anxious to get their vaccine and are willing to travel to do so.”

She added that vaccine distribution, because it’s based on population, “works a lot better if you do stay in your own county.”

You can go here to see where and how to make a vaccine appointment in Tennessee.

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