Tennessee says COVID-19 vaccine will be ‘choice’ but not requirement for schools

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tennessee’s governor says that once coronavirus vaccines become available, they will be optional in the state’s K-12 public schools.

Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday that vaccines will be very important for Tennessee to “ultimately really be able to handle” the pandemic. But he says he doesn’t foresee vaccine mandates for school districts in Tennessee.

In his words, “Vaccines are a choice and people have the choice and will have the choice in this state as to whether or not they should take that vaccine.”

The state’s health commissioner says the first doses could arrive in Tennessee around Dec. 15. The first wave will be reserved for frontline health care workers and first responders. She says widespread availability would likely be in late spring or early summer.