Tennessee’s teachers and seniors are being given a higher priority for the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine doses could soon be administered from the old State Farm Operations Building in Murfreesboro.

No new timelines have been given for when members of the general public may receive the vaccines.

The Rutherford County government and State of Tennessee have arranged with State Farm to use the insurer’s closed operations building on Memorial Boulevard as a site to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Not all the details are known at this time, as the agreement began to come together last week.

Ashley McDonald, the county’s public information officer said, the contract has been signed. Vaccinations could begin to be distributed from the building this week.

“It is important to note that the county health department is following the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and schedule so persons should check ahead of time to determine eligibility,” McDonald said.

State Farm spokeswoman Tammi S. Estes said, “We're pleased to temporarily donate this space for Rutherford County to use as they deliver the vaccine to the community. We have nothing additional to share at this time specific to the Murfreesboro location.”

State Farm in November announced it was permanently closing the building at 2500 Memorial Blvd., but the 1,200 employees will continue to work from home, where they have been working since March due to COVID-19 precautions.

Other vaccine news

Educators and people age 75 and older have been moved up in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, state officials said Wednesday.

School and childcare staff are now on Plan 1b for the vaccine, state data show. They were in the second phase of distribution.

Individuals qualifying for vaccination under Phases 1a1 and 1a2 may be offered vaccine by their employer, through their local health department or through a partnering hospital, the state said in a press release.

Staff members and residents of long-term care facilities will be provided vaccinations through the federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS, in partnership with a local pharmacy or via TDH vaccination strike teams. Phase 1a1 and 1a2 individuals should check with their employer or contact the county health department for more information.

According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, 79,282 doses had been administered as of Thursday. As of last week, Rutherford County was in Phases 1a1 and 1a2. Tennessee is now in Phase 1a, which is subdivided into two phases: Phase 1a1 for in-patient health care providers, first responders with direct exposure to the public and staff members and residents of long-term care facilities, and Phase 1a2 for those primarily working in outpatient health care settings.

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