OBION COUNTY, TN — In Tennessee, COVID-19 vaccinations are ongoing for people 75 or older. The vaccines are limited based on each county's supply.
All counties in the state do not have enough vaccines to meet the demand, and that includes Obion, Weakley and Lake counties.
When you call the Obion County Health Department, you're likely to hear a busy signal. Doris Cochran, a local women who received the busy signal, said she had to go to the health department in person to schedule an appointment.
"You can't find out nowhere when they're getting their shots, what time they're going to give it and what you need to do," Cochran said.
Cochran's husband is recovering from a stroke and has a chronic lung disease, and they're both in the eligible age group.
Tennessee has released a sliding scale of when people can expect to receive a vaccine. Currently, those 75 or older are in the same vaccine group priority as as frontline health care workers, dependent disabled adults and outpatient health care workers with direct patient exposure.
People who visited the Obion County Health Department in person were told they'll receive a call when a vaccine is available.
The Tennessee Department of Health releases a daily list of the status of vaccines available at each health department.
The local health departments were not allowed to speak with news media. Instead, a Tennessee Department of Health spokesperson spoke on behalf of regional health departments.
"We are pleased with the overwhelming interest Tennesseans are showing in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, and we are providing them as quickly as possible as we receive additional shipments of vaccines," said Bill Christian, the Associate Director of Communication & Media Relations. "It’s also important to note vaccine supplies are still very limited at this time."
In Weakley County, state records show vaccine availability is fluctuating daily. The health department was not allowed to speak with Local 6, but the county provided an update via Facebook regarding the overwhelming call volume the health department is experiencing.
"Staff is fielding hundreds and hundreds of calls; the waiting list is lengthy, supplies are limited, and staff is vaccinating individuals as quickly and efficiently as possible," the post said.
The state did not answer Local 6's questions about providing additional resources to the counties.
Cochran said she only wants answers.
"There's so many people that would be up here to get this shot, but if you don't know it's here, how can you come?" she asked.
The state's data shows no COVID-19 vaccines are available in the counties as of this report.
Read the full statement from the Tennessee Department of Health:
"We are pleased with the overwhelming interest Tennesseans are showing in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, and we are providing them as quickly as possible as we receive additional shipments of vaccines. It’s also important to note vaccine supplies are still very limited at this time. We look forward to accelerating through our priority phases to cover the maximum number of Tennesseans in the shortest time possible as vaccine supplies become increasingly available.
We have several online tools to help folks determine where and when to get a vaccine. Information on the COVID-19 vaccine phases and the current estimated vaccine timeline can be found at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/vaccine-phases/ and a vaccine eligibility tool is also available at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/eligibility/."
Bill Christian | Associate Director Office of Communication & Media Relations
In Henry County, a line of cars stretched down the road Tuesday morning before the Henry County Medical Center began its drive-thru vaccination event. Here's a video the hospital shared on Facebook Tuesday, showing the long line in Paris, Tennessee: