Wilson County Schools vaccine event

A Wilson County Schools employee receives a vaccine for COVID-19 during a vaccination event conducted by the Wilson County Department of Health and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency last Friday at Lebanon High Schools. More than 1,000 WCS employees received the vaccinations.

Wilson County’s vaccination figures are below the state’s average as Gov. Bill Lee recently announced additional guidance for the state to continue to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennessee Department of Health figures show 25 percent of Wilson County residents have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, while 33 percent have received at least one dose.

The county has administered 82,705 doses as of May 3, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

The department reported that slowed vaccination rates at the end of April, with the statewide average falling at 34 percent as of April 27, which represented a one percentage point increase from the previous week.

Davidson and Williamson counties have vaccination rates above the statewide average at 40 and 44 percent, respectively.

“While we are experiencing a slowing down of vaccine uptake at many of our vaccination sites across the state, this is not a unique phenomenon to Tennessee,” Sarah Tanksley, state Department of Health media relations director, said in an email April 27. “Vaccine supply in the state exceeds demand.”

Tennessee has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has the state in the lowest tier of vaccination rates.

Wilson County’s case count climbed to 18,700 cases through Sunday. The latest figures included 233 deaths and 231 active cases.

As of April 30, Wilson County averaged 51.5 new cases reported per day over 14 days from April 17 through April 30. The average for the previous 14 days was 28.1 cases per day.

The seven-day average on April 30 was 14.6 new cases.

Tanksley did not speculate about a plateau for Tennessee vaccinations, saying the health department would launch an ad campaign and hopes “to see an increase among those who have expressed hesitancy.”

Lee recently announced he would end statewide public health orders regarding COVID-19 and shift the state’s focus to “recovery” from the pandemic.

“As Tennesseans continue to get vaccinated, it’s time to lift remaining local restrictions, focus on economic recovery and get back to business in Tennessee,” Lee said.

Lee has urged independent health departments in the state to lift any remaining mask requirements and business restrictions by the end of May or earlier.

“Tennessee is 47th out of 50 states for [COVID-19] vaccinations,” Tennessee Senate Democrats tweeted after Lee’s announcement. “Under Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee saw the 4th worst coronavirus outbreak in the nation per person and worst in the South. More than 12,100 Tennesseans have died from [COVID-19], including 83 this past week.”