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Tennesseans Should Still Follow COVID-19 Precautions.

Tennessee continues to protect its most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19 and to prepare for opening COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Tennesseans age 16 and older beginning April 5.

The COVID-19 vaccination numbers are playing in Tennessee’s favor:

  • Approximately 64 percent of Tennesseans age 70 and older have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • More than 960,000 Tennesseans have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series, either two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson. 
  • More than 1.7 million Tennesseans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

While these COVID-19 vaccination results show great progress, now is not the time for Tennesseans to let down their guard. 

It is more important than ever for Tennesseans to continue observing all of the precautions necessary to keep the virus in check and ensure we are protecting each other from getting sick or dying from COVID-19.

Along with getting a vaccine, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance are still necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Tennessee.

Here are a few reasons why, even if you have completed your vaccine series, you should continue with COVID-19 precautions.

It takes time for the vaccines to reach their maximum effectiveness.  

For those receiving the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, it will take 14 days after your second dose until you are maximally protected against the virus.  For the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will need 14 days after receiving your single dose before your immune system can maximally protect you against the COVID-19 virus.

It is still important to protect those with compromised immune systems and those who can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Those with chronic medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension are at greater risk for developing severe complications fromCOVID-19. Some women who are pregnant may choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine even though they are at high risk of complications from the illness. Furthermore, the CDC recommends those who have had severe allergic reactions to the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine not get the vaccine.

All of these Tennesseans deserve our help and support in our making sure we’re taking the proper precautions to protect them.  

The vaccine isn’t going to turn off the COVID-19 pandemic automatically.

Continuing to take COVID-19 precautions, especially wearing a mask, is still very important as new COVID-19 variants are identified. All the COVID-19 vaccines are highly-effective at stopping hospitalizations and preventing death from the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC, however, is still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus and how long the COVID-19 vaccines can help protect people.

What Tennesseans should know is that everyone – even those who have had a COVID-19 vaccine – should continue to take all steps necessary as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Visit COVID19.TN.gov for more information and resources on Tennessee’s efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to Tennesseans.