No disruption to the Vaccines for Children Program, COVID-19 vaccine availability

TDH continues to provide information and access

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health assures families across Tennessee that information and access to vaccinations for children through state health departments continues and there has been no disruption to these services. 

While misinformation has been circulated regarding the status of these resources, parents who need information regarding routine childhood immunizations can find resources here. Parents seeking the COVID-19 vaccine for children 12+ can find additional information here.

“There has been no disruption to the childhood immunization program or access to the COVID-19 vaccine while the department has evaluated annual marketing efforts intended for parents,” said Tennessee Department of Health commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “The Tennessee Department of Health not only supports immunizations but continues to provide valuable information and access to parents who are seeking vaccinations for their children. We are proud of the efforts of our staff across the state and will continue to promote vaccination and the vaccination work of our partners.”

Tennessee has a long history of being one of the top performing programs in the country when it comes to childhood immunizations, and this is due in large part to the efforts of rural and metro health departments across the state. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data on vaccination coverage:

• Tennessee ranked among the top 10 states for MMR vaccination coverage among kindergarteners during the 2019-2020 school year
• For more than a decade, Tennessee has had above 90% coverage of kindergarten students receiving childhood immunizations including DTaP, MMR, Polio, Chicken Pox and Hepatitis B.

Additionally, based on an annual census survey of immunization status of Tennessee kindergarten students, 95.3% of 2020-2021 kindergarten students in the state were fully immunized.

“While we were concerned when childhood immunization rates temporarily dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are glad that we are seeing vaccination rates begin to rebound. We will continue supporting parents who are working to get their families’ immunization schedules back on track,” Piercey said.

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