Health Department issues Health Order No. 25; recommends “third dose” vaccinations for immunocompromised conditions

By Diana Fedinec

Shelby County Health Department issued Health Order No. 25 on Aug. 27, 2021, renewing the provisions of Second Amended Health Order No. 24 and providing new recommendations and requirements on COVID-19 vaccinations. Health Order No. 25 will be effective Aug. 31, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2021, unless amended further. 

With high transmission rates of the COVID-19 Delta variant reported in low vaccinated populations in Shelby County and Tennessee, the Department is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and recommending that people who have immunocompromised conditions receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Currently, all persons age 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine; persons age 18 and older are eligible to receive the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer vaccine and is expected to approve the Moderna vaccine soon.

The Department also recommends eligible individuals who are already vaccinated to get a booster shot as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves of boosters. Employers are strongly encouraged to require COVID-19 vaccinations or regular COVID-19 testing for all unvaccinated employees, including those who are asymptomatic.

Given the disturbing rise of pediatric cases in Shelby County, the Order reaffirms the Department’s stance on wearing masks in K-12 schools, with appropriate exceptions. On Aug. 18, the Department updated its mask wearing directive to a universal mask mandate for Shelby County for public indoor settings and because the CDC currently considers the County be a high-risk area of transmission, masks are highly recommended if you are in an outdoor setting that involves close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated. 

For details on the Department’s new Order regarding vaccinations, testing and mask wearing, visit Health Order No. 25

Southwest Tennessee Community College continues to monitor the Coronavirus and follow local, state and national health and safety guidelines from the CDC, Health Department and Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). 

All Southwest students, employees and visitors who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to self-report online on the coronavirus section of the Southwest website. Please review the College's infectious disease policy and stay tuned for updates via email and on the College’s coronavirus website at

To read more about Shelby County Health Department’s most recent public health directives, visit For information on vaccination eligibility and appointments, visit