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Tennessee vaccination outreach to minors halted, not just for COVID ...

The Tennessee Department of Health
the Volunteer State
the Tennessee Department of Education
the Tennessee Department of Health
the Department of Health
Neighborhood Health

Lisa Piercey
Tim Jones
Sarah Tanksley
Michelle Fiscus
Brian Haile
Scott Cepicky
Chelsea Clinton
Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton
COVID.”Brett Kelman


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Woodlawn Elementary School


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Positivity     34.79%   
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The New York Times
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The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for COVID-19, but for all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. Under the agency’s new rules, events like this will no longer be permitted across most of the state.This shift is worrisome to Brian Haile, CEO of Neighborhood Health, a group of nonprofit clinics providing vaccines in and around Nashville.In many rural Tennessee counties, school gymnasiums are one of the few venues large enough to hold a vaccination event indoors, with air conditioning, with enough space for social distancing, Haile said.“I’m not saying it’s impossible,” Haile said, “but one of the things this is going to do is really limit access to vaccines in rural areas.”Tanksley, the health department spokeswoman, confirmed the agency would end COVID-19 vaccination events at schools, in a part because of low demand, and said “no decisions had been made” about offering other vaccines at schools.Tanksley said the agency ended events on school property “out of an abundance of caution” because vaccination efforts were “perceived by some to give the wrong impression regarding parental consent.”“While the location may change,” Tanksley said, “the effort to vaccinate individuals who choose to receive it continues."When asked about the decision stop sending vaccine reminder postcards to teenagers, Tankley said the health department always intended these postcards to go to parents and was taking new steps to ensure they were never sent to minors.Tanksley said the agency’s online vaccine scheduling system also sends out automated reminder emails, but the agency is working to alter the system so reminders never go to minors and are instead rerouted to their parents.The Tennessee Department of Health began backing off vaccination outreach in the wake of a contentious legislative hearing in mid-June in which several conservative lawmakers chastised Piercey for efforts to vaccinate teenagers.Lawmakers accused the agency of attempting to circumvent parents and peer-pressure minors to be vaccinated, then discussed dissolving the entire health department to stop its vaccine advertisements.

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