State heading into next round of vaccinations

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Dr. Lisa Piercey, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health, announced Tuesday that the state will start vaccinating phase 1c for COVID-19 next week.

Phase 1c consists of anyone who has one or more conditions that put them at high risk.

“It’s all people 16 and over at risk,” Piercey said.

The commissioner made her comments during a virtual press conference today. Those who may be considered high risk include those who may have diabetes, obesity or other health conditions.

She said the state decided to go into the next phase in anticipation of acquiring a high number of vaccines.

She said it is a huge demographic in Tennessee.

“We’ve estimated it to be around 1.6 million Tennesseans,” she said.

The Knox County Health Department, which is independent, said Tuesday it would follow state guidelines.