Blount Memorial plans to start giving COVID-19 vaccines to K-12 school employees on Friday, Feb. 26.

Maryville City Schools employees will be among the first up, and by noon Monday, Feb. 22, 459 had selected an appointment, MCS Assistant Director Amy Vagnier said.

Local public schools previously had been planning on campus vaccines for staff. Now Blount Memorial has coordinated with the Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County districts as well as Greenback School, Clayton-Bradley Academy and Maryville Christian School.

Maryville employees will have a reserved lot for parking at Blount Memorial Hospital and receive the shots in the auditorium from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

They will complete the vaccine signature form and return it to their schools in advance.

Greenback School employees have the option of receiving the shot Friday, Feb. 26, at Blount Memorial or Saturday, Feb. 27, through the Loudon County Health Department, according to Principal Mike Casteel.

While Blount Memorial has given other schools tentative dates and times, those won’t be confirmed until the vaccine doses arrive, spokesman Josh West explained.

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Blount County Schools employees tentatively is scheduled for 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at East Tennessee Medical Group in Alcoa.

When Blount Memorial confirms the number of vaccines available, the district plans to have employees register through an email link on Monday, March 1.

In an earlier survey, about 1,130 of an estimated 1,700 BCS employees had expressed interest in receiving the vaccine.

At ETMG on a Saturday, when the physician side of the office typically is closed, Blount Memorial can vaccinate 175-200 an hour, West said.

Alcoa City Schools tentatively is scheduled for Friday, March 5, with Blount Memorial, but Director Becky Stone noted K-12 personnel also can schedule appointments with the Blount County Health Department.

Appointments with county health departments can be scheduled through the state online at covid19.tn.gov.

Corie Gouge, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Health’s Eastern Division said Monday, Feb. 22, that they had been able to deliver vaccines sooner than expected to people who had signed up.

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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