People ages 65 and older — as well as K-12 teachers, child care staff, first responder operations staff and air traffic controllers — will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, the Tennessee Department of Health announced Tuesday, Feb. 16.

“While we remain focused on our seniors, who are the highest-risk population, we’re able to expand vaccine eligibility to these additional groups as our supply continues to grow each week," Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey wrote in a press release.

Blount Countians 65 and older and those in Phase 1b of risk-based eligibility may schedule vaccination appointments via the state's newly launched online tool at on Feb. 22. 

Those 70 and older or in Phase 1a — health care workers, first responders, funeral and mortuary workers, and long-term care residents and staff — may schedule appointments now. 

Read more about the state's vaccination updates in the Wednesday edition of The Daily Times. 

Follow @_shelbyharris on Twitter for more from county government reporter Shelby Harris. 

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