Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Hamilton County Health Department COVID-19
Commonly Asked Questions

Updated February 22, 2021


How can I schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Hamilton County?

When new appointment times are added to the schedule, visit the Health Department’s Vaccine webpage HERE. From there, click the first or second dose appointment tab, choose an available time, and sign up.

For assistance making your appointment call:      

  • First dose appointment line: 423-209-5398
  • Second dose appointment line: 423-209-5399
  • Bilingual COVID-19 hotline: 423-209-8383
  • Para reservar su cita de la vacuna contra COVID-19, visite la página web en español, haga clic aqui o llame al centro de llamadas al 423-209-5384.


Who currently qualifies for the COVID-19 vaccine in Hamilton County?

Visit and click on the Current Phases/Eligibility tab.

How do I get notified when new appointment slots are added to the schedule?

Visit our Connect With Us page and choose how you would like to be notified.

How does the Health Department decide when to move to the next COVID-19 vaccination Phase or age bracket?

The Health Department follows the Tennessee Department of Health’s Vaccination Plan, click here

What documentation is accepted at the vaccine site to prove residency, age or work status?

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are for people who live or work in Hamilton County and meet current eligibility. Acceptable documents to prove eligibility can be:

Proof of Hamilton County address:

  • Driver’s License
  • State issued ID Card
  • Official mail
  • Electric/utility bill
  • Consulate card

Proof of age requirement:

  • Driver’s License
  • State issued ID Card
  • Passport
  • Consulate card
  • Mail from a medical provider

Proof of work status eligibility:

  • Work ID/badge
  • Pay stub
  • Email from your employer

For questions, call the hotline at 423-209-8383.

How many people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Hamilton County?

The Health Department updates their Vaccine Data Dashboard each Wednesday, click here

The Tennessee Department of Health updates county-specific data daily, click here and scroll to the bottom. 

Does the Health Department provide free transportation to their COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites?

Yes. Call the COVID-19 hotline in advance to schedule a ride: 423-209-8383.


Where are Hamilton County Health Department vaccination sites located?

  • Tennessee Riverpark: 4301 Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga, TN 37406
  • CARTA Bus Barn: 1617 Wilcox Boulevard, Chattanooga, TN 37406
  • Enterprise South Nature Park: 190 Still Hollow Loop, Chattanooga, TN 37416

What information do I need to know before, during, and after my appointment? Where can I download the handouts given out at the vaccination site?

Visit and click on the Handouts & Instructions tab.

If I traveled elsewhere to receive my first dose of the vaccine, will I be able to get my second dose at the Health Department vaccine site?

The Hamilton County Health Department only receives second dose shipments to match our first doses, so if someone travels to another county to get their first dose of the vaccine out of Hamilton County's current phase, they will need to return to that county to get their second dose. There are some situations in which we will accommodate second dose appointments for people who did not receive their first dose with us. For example, someone received their first dose from their employer, and they changed jobs or left their job before their second dose due date. Questions about eligibility may be directed to our hotline at 423-209-8383.

How do I know when to get the second dose of my vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine is a two dose series given 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine is a two dose series given 28 days apart. After you receive the first dose of the vaccine, you will be given a vaccine record card and instructed to schedule a second appointment on or after the due date listed on the card. This card is a reminder of the date, so you must make a second dose appointment when appointment slots become available.

Where can I find educational flyers and handouts to share with my community group or church congregation?

Visit the Health Department’s Print Resource page.

What do I need to know about COVID-19 variants? 

Viruses can mutate or change.  The CDC is monitoring variant strains of the COVID-19 virus, such as those identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.  Specifically, they are looking at how easily they spread, their detection on testing, the severity of their illness and their responsiveness to vaccine.  So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants.  This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway. (Source: Health Department physician Dr. Boaz)

Do I need to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19 after being vaccinated? 

If you are vaccinated and:

  • 2 weeks have passed since receiving your second dose
  • you do not have any symptoms
  • and you are within the 3 months window since your last dose

You are considered immune and quarantine is not recommended.  You should meet these 3 criteria; otherwise you should follow quarantine guidelines.  Persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following exposure. Source: CDC

Why should I consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine? 

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best and safest way to become immune to COVID-19. Getting the vaccine will help your immune system build protection against the virus in case you are exposed in the future.


The COVID-19 vaccines were approved so quickly.  Are they safe? 

Yes! These vaccines have already been given to tens of thousands of volunteers and have been shown to be safe and very good at preventing them from getting sick with COVID-19. They are being rigorously monitored for safety on an ongoing basis. 


What are the possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it make me sick? 

You may have some side effects which are normal signs that your body is building protection.  The local side effects are pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.  Other reactions are fever, chills, tiredness, headache, body aches and flu-like symptoms.  V-Safe is a CDC smartphone-based tool where people can report any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 


How do the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines work? 

These vaccines work by giving your body the recipe to make the protein that is on the outside of the coronavirus.  When your body sees that protein, it will make protective antibodies to it.  Later, if the body sees the real virus, it will remember seeing that protein and destroy the virus before it has a chance to make you sick.


After receiving the vaccine, when will I be immune from COVID-19? 

We have learned from clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people who took the vaccine that the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% at preventing illness from COVID-19 after 14 days from the second dose of vaccine. It is recommended that you get both doses to have the best protection against the virus. 


Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA? 

No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.  mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.


Will the COVID-19 vaccine infect me with the virus? 

No. None of the vaccines currently being developed in the United States contain the virus, so there is no possibility of the vaccine infecting someone with the COVID-19.


Do I have to get both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine?  

The current recommendation is to get both doses to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. The second dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be from the same product/manufacturer as the first dose. 


If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine? 

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.  You may delay getting the vaccine for 90 days after your diagnosis because getting sick with COVID-19 again is unlikely during that time.  If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.


After I receive the COVID-19 vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask? 

No. It will still be important to continue to follow public health recommendations to protect yourself and others.  This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds and washing hands often.