December 31, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Update
On Wednesday, the Tennessee Department of Health released an updated version of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan in response to new recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Tennessee’s COVID-19 plan prioritizes different groups for vaccination including those most at risk and critical infrastructure workers with direct public exposure or higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Counties may progress through different phases of the plan at different times based on supply and demand of the vaccine. Health center staff members have begun to receive the vaccine and health centers are eager to begin vaccinating patients. 

WEEKLY Open COVID-19 Webinar for Healthcare Professionals
Join the TN Department of Health for a weekly open Q&A webinar hour for health care professionals to ask questions about the Tennessee COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution plan and COVID-19 vaccines.

Due to the holiday, the next TDH provider call will occur Friday, January 8th.

Additional Resources for COVID-19 Vaccines
TDH has put together a set of resources including FAQs and information about getting the second dose of the vaccine. These are being updated frequently. TDH is interested to know if there are additional resources or messages that you need for your providers or patients.

TPCA and other groups have already provided some suggestions but if you think of something you need, please reach out to and we will pass the message on to TDH.

TPCA COVID-19 Resources Page
TPCA created a COVID-19 Resources page that contains information and tools for health centers and the general public on a variety of COVID-19 related topics including TPCA’s COVID-19 Updates, human resources & operations, telehealth, and PPE.
Community Health Center Staff Members
Begin Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine
Community health center staff began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine last week! Many chose to publicly share their experiences to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination for staff members and their patients. 

Governor Lee Calls for Special Session on Education

This week, Governor Lee called for a special legislative session to address education challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tennessee General Assembly is set to reconvene in Nashville on January 12 and the special session will begin on January 19. Following the special session, the General Assembly will take up business for the regular session. 
Health Center Funding Included in Year-end Spending Package

President Trump signed a spending package on Sunday, averting a government shutdown and providing an additional $900 billion in COVID-19 relief. The legislation included level funding for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program through FY2023. An additional $3 billion in general allocation will be included in the Provider Relief Fund. Senator Alexander and Representatives Roe (R-1), Fleischmann (R-3), Cooper (D-5), Kustoff (R-8), and Cohen (D-9) voted in favor of the measure.

TPCA is grateful for all of the efforts by health center advocates to secure a long-term extension of health center funding and our Members of Congress for their support of health centers!
340B Discounts

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of General Counsel issued an advisory opinion on Wednesday stating that manufacturers must provide 340B discounts to contract pharmacies acting as agents of covered entities. HHS’s opinion is in response to recent actions by drug manufacturers for their refusal to distribute drugs through contract pharmacies. While advisory opinions are not legally binding, they do signal HHS’s position on issues. 

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