Blount Memorial Hospital received enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in a shipment Tuesday to give all school employees in the county their first shot this week.

That will allow Alcoa City Schools and Blount County Schools employees who want the vaccine to receive it a week earlier than expected.

“Vaccine allocations and shipments are ever-changing, and until vaccines actually arrive at Blount Memorial, all plans must remain tentative and flexible,” BMH Marketing Director Jennie Bounds explained in an email.

“In this case, we received the allocation for all the school system employees at once Tuesday morning, which was not originally expected.

“Knowing how eager our school system employees are to receive their vaccines, we offered to adjust the distribution plans and schedules to be able to administer vaccine to all of the school staffs in a two-day period. So, by the end of Saturday, Feb. 27, each of the schools will have had the opportunity for their staffs to be vaccinated,” she wrote.

BCS employees now will be vaccinated at East Tennessee Medical Group on Saturday, Feb. 27, instead of a week later, as expected before the shipment.

On Friday, Feb. 26, Alcoa employees now will be able to go to Blount Memorial Hospital for the vaccine by appointment, along with employees from Maryville City Schools, Greenback School, Clayton-Bradley Academy and Maryville Christian School.

“We are providing substitute teachers and are creating a schedule that will allow our faculty and staff to get the vaccine at a designated time during the school day,” Jeremy Wallace, head of school for MCS, wrote in an email. “We want to make this as easy and convenient for our employees as we can. As of today, we have about half of our faculty and staff signed up to participate.”

Clayton-Bradley Academy Assistant Director Kendall Terry wrote in an email that the school is not sharing at this time the results of its survey of how many staff will receive the vaccine through Blount Memorial.

Amy Beth earned her degree from West Virginia. She joined The Daily Times in 2016 on the education beat covering Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County school systems.

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