TPA Call with Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commission of TDOH

Lisa Piercey, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, participated in a group call with memebers of the Tennessee Press Association on February 10, 2021.
Photo Submitted / The Lexington Progress

Article by W. Clay Crook-

On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, The Lexington Progress was invited by the Tennessee Press Association to participate in a call with Dr. Lisa Piercey, who serves as the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health. The call discussed the status of COVID-19 vaccinations for those citizens 70 and older. Over 270,000 Tennesseans have been vaccinated, about one resident in every three, but that means that two out of three have still not been vaccinated. The group at age 70 or above is still a major focus.

Although those under age 65 are important, the risk factor for each five years of age above 65 increases dramatically. “I find the statistics to be shocking. I’m age 43,” said Dr. Piercey, “but a person age 70 is seven times more likely to be hospitalized, and twenty-seven times more likely to die from the virus than I am.” She wants everyone to have a vaccination in the state, but this demographic has to be addressed first, and those over age 70 can be harder to reach than other groups.

“We are taking the vaccine out to seniors,” she said, and they have moved from assisted care to those in senior affordable housing developments. “But there is an issue with getting this message out to the age 70 plus group, especially in rural areas, and we need helpers from the churches and communities to reach out to seniors to provide information and transportation. Your role, as the local newspaper, is essential to getting this message to the community.” Tennessee newspapers reach over 82% of adults across…

For complete coverage, see the February 17th edition of The Lexington Progress.

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