Locals Voice Frustrations With Delayed Vaccine Rollout

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Hamilton County residents are not too thrilled with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution from the county’s health department.

After those hoping to receive the vaccine were greeted with long lines off of Amnicola Highway, the Health Department has announced that they will begin shifting to an appointment-only vaccine distribution model.

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Locals gave their take on the distribution process, many saying that the county needed to be doing more to get the vaccine out to those who need it.

“The people that really need it are gonna need it, they don’t have any. That’s what I mean by they don’t have control of everything. They aren’t taking it serious, they’re just giving it out to whoever wants it. Like hey, let me get the vaccine,” said one local woman.

Others said that moving to an appointment-only model would be the right thing to do to alleviate the long lines that were seen over the last few weeks.

“I think that it would help in that they might know better how much they need if they have appointments set. And people will not be frustrated if they’ve been waiting for four plus hours and they get turned away, they might not be willing to come back and try that again unless they have an appointment. So I think appointments are a good idea,” said another.

City Councilman Anthony Byrd also sounded off on the issue of vaccine distribution, telling his constituents to remain patient while the Hamilton County Health Department works to perfect the distribution process.

“Please be patient. Please understand that any new process takes some time to work out. Any new process is going to have glitches. And the system is made to help and support the people. And we need you guys to participate so we’ll know how to fix the system. And right now we’re having the process where we’re fixing the system so that I’m gonna say that by the middle of the year you will see this move a little better,” says Councilman Byrd.

The health department has said that they are still working on the details of the new appointment-only system and only publish new information when it becomes available.