COVID-19 Vaccine


Vaccines are more widely available across the country, and we understand you may have questions. Here’s what you need to know.

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What To Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine:

  • Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has received FDA emergency authorization for those 5 years to 15 years old. It’s approved for people age 16 and older. Here's what that means.
  • The FDA and CDC consider COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective.
  • You won’t have any out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine.
  • You may need to get multiple doses of the vaccine. View our chart below for a detailed comparison.
  • Boosters and additional vaccine doses aren’t the same, and the recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines are different at this time.
    • Additional doses are for people who didn’t build enough protection from the initial COVID-19 vaccine series.
    • Boosters are for fully vaccinated people whose immune systems already built an appropriate level of protection. However, over time, this protection may need to be “boosted” again.
  • As of Nov. '21, boosters are recommended for all adults ages 18 and older. The CDC and FDA have both advised that any of the three authorized vaccines could be used as a booster in a “mix and match” approach for those who need additional protection. This means that fully vaccinated adults may be able to receive a booster of a different vaccine.
  • According to the CDC, you still need the vaccine even if you’ve had COVID-19; and you won’t get COVID-19 from a vaccine.
  • You should practice safety measures like mask wearing and frequent handwashing even if you’re fully vaccinated. Current CDC guidelines can be found here.
  • All U.S. residents age 5 and older are now eligible for the vaccine. Children ages 5 to 17 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only.
  • Check with your local health department or visit vaccines.gov for vaccine locations.

It’s important to remember this information could change.
We’ll update this page as researchers learn more from vaccine trials.

It’s important to remember this information could change.
We’ll update this page as researchers learn more from vaccine trials.

Current Vaccine Phases in Tennessee

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PHASE 1

1 A1

  • Inpatient and other high-exposure health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • First responders
  • Adults who cannot live independently

1 A2

  • Outpatient health care workers with direct patient exposure, including mortuary services

1 B

  • K-12 and child care staff
  • First responder operations personnel

1 C

  • Those with high-risk health conditions including pregnancy
  • Caregivers of children with high-risk health conditions
  • Permanent household members age 16 and older living with pregnant women
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PHASE 2

2 A

Critical infrastructure, including:

  • Social services
  • Commercial agriculture
  • Commercial food production
  • Corrections staff
  • Public transit

2 B

Critical infrastructure, including:

  • Transportation
  • Public infrastructure
  • Telecommunications
  • Utilities/energy
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PHASE 3

  • Congregate living facilities, including corrections
  • Grocery workers
  • Everyone else who did not fall under a previous phase

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AGE-BASED

In addition to the prioritized phases, Tennesseans are eligible for vaccines based on age. This timeline is tentative and is subject to change:

  • December 2020: Ages 75+
  • January/February 2021: Ages 70+
  • February 2021: 65+
  • March 2021: Ages 55+
  • April 5, 2021: Ages 16+

Vaccine Phases in Tennessee

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PHASE 1

1 A1

  • Inpatient and other high-exposure health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • First responders
  • Adults who cannot live independently

1 A2

  • Outpatient health care workers with direct patient exposure, including mortuary services

1 B

  • K-12 and child care staff
  • First responder operations personnel

1 C

  • Those with high-risk health conditions including pregnancy
  • Caregivers of children with high-risk health conditions
  • Permanent household members age 16 and older living with pregnant women
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PHASE 2

2 A

Critical infrastructure, including:

  • Social services
  • Commercial agriculture
  • Commercial food production
  • Corrections staff
  • Public transit

2 B

Critical infrastructure, including:

  • Transportation
  • Public infrastructure
  • Telecommunications
  • Utilities/energy
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PHASE 3

  • Congregate living facilities, including corrections
  • Grocery workers
  • Everyone else who did not fall under a previous phase
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      AGE-BASED

      In addition to the prioritized phases, Tennesseans are eligible for vaccines based on age. This timeline is tentative and is subject to change:

      • December 2020: Ages 75+
      • January/February 2021: Ages 70+
      • February 2021: 65+
      • March 2021: Ages 55+
      • April 5, 2021: Ages 16+

      The Three COVID-19 Vaccines

      This chart, compiled from CDC and vaccine manufacturer data, helps explain the differences among the vaccines. Right now, we don’t have the luxury of choosing which vaccine we get since the federal government handles distribution. Because of that, it’s important to be vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible, no matter which vaccine is offered.

      U.S. health officials recently recommended that use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine resume after a temporary pause to evaluate extremely rare cases of blood clots. The FDA and CDC determined that the benefits the vaccine provides in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks in the general population. However, women under the age of 50 should be aware of the associated rare risk of blood clots. The CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines.


      Moderna

      Pfizer

      Johnson & Johnson JansSen

      • Under distribution
      • Under distribution
      • Under distribution
      • 2+ shots
      • 2+ shots
      • 1+ shot
      • 94.1% effective against positive COVID-19 test results or symptomatic infection
      • 95% effective against positive COVID-19 test results or symptomatic infection
      • 72% effective against COVID-19-related moderate to severe illness and 85% against severe cases
      • For ages 18+
      • Additional dose eligible for:
        • All adults ages 18+
      • For ages 5+
      • Additional dose eligible for:
        • All adults ages 18+
      • For ages 18+
      • Additional dose eligible for:
        • All adults ages 18+
      • Doses are 28 days apart
      • Booster 6 months after second dose
      • Doses are 21 days apart
      • Booster 6 months after second dose
      • 1 dose
      • Booster 2 months after original dose
      • Side effects may include fatigue, muscle pain, sore arm and rarely severe allergic reaction
      • Side effects may include fatigue, muscle pain, sore arm and rarely severe allergic reaction
      • Side effects may include fatigue, muscle pain and a sore arm

      Moderna

      • Under distribution
      • 2+ shots
      • 94.1% effective against positive COVID-19 test results or symptomatic infection
      • For ages 18+
      • Additional dose eligible for:
        • All adults ages 18+
      • Doses are 28 days apart
      • Booster 6 months after second dose
      • Side effects may include fatigue, muscle pain, sore arm and rarely severe allergic reaction

      Pfizer

      • Under distribution
      • 2+ shots
      • 95% effective against positive COVID-19 test results or symptomatic infection
      • For ages 5+
      • Additional dose eligible for:
      • All adults ages 18+
      • Doses are 21 days apart
      • Booster 6 months after second dose
      • Side effects may include fatigue, muscle pain, sore arm and rarely severe allergic reaction

      Johnson & Johnson JansSen

      • Under distribution
      • 1+ shot
      • 72% effective against COVID-19-related moderate to severe illness and 85% against severe cases
      • For ages 18+
      • Additional dose eligible for:
        • All adults ages 18+
      • 1 dose
      • Booster 2 months after original dose
      • Side effects may include fatigue, muscle pain and a sore arm

      As of Oct. 21, both the CDC and FDA have advised that any of the three authorized vaccines could be used as a booster in a “mix and match” approach for those who need additional protection. You can find more information here.
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      Guidelines after vaccination
      The CDC released recommendations for safely gathering once vaccinated against COVID-19.

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      Guidelines after vaccination
      The CDC released recommendations for safely gathering once vaccinated against COVID-19.

      Learn More

      COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ ¿Habla Español?


      Are you a BlueCare Tennessee provider? Click here for information about COVID-19 vaccines.

      All other providers can find more information about COVID-19 vaccines here.

      We’ve compiled answers to your most-asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. This is a developing situation, so check back for updated information.

      Preguntas frecuentes para miembros, sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19