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Some local pharmacies in rural Tennessee begin distributing COVID-19 vaccine

A statewide initiative is trying to get more COVID-19 vaccines to rural areas and to places with underserved populations.

On the treasure hunt for the COVID-19 vaccine, callers to Newport's Broadway and Main pharmacy struck it rich Friday. 

Officials said that 100 of Moderna's coronavirus inoculation sit in the fridge. 

"We have had an overwhelming response of people wanting to get the vaccine and we’ll accommodate as many people as possible," said pharmacist Jarrod Vick. 

His 100 openings for vaccine appointments filled up fast. 

The doses are part of a statewide initiative to get more vaccines to rural areas and to places with underserved populations. 

Across Tennessee, 84 pharmacies like Broadway and Maine got a box of the vaccines this week. 

"It was really exciting," Vick said. 

RELATED: LIST: Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine in East Tennessee

The Knox County Health Department also got more doses for people 75 years old and up. Appointments Friday were mostly gone in minutes. For now, no more slots are open at the University of Tennessee Medical Center either. 

It took about a day for Broadway and Main to fill up its appointments. 

Vick scheduled drive-through distributions for people receiving the vaccines next week.

"It's really good to be able to offer this service and give back to the community that's given so much to us," he said. "We're all local it just feels really good to be able to help the people in our community."

The doses will be allocated according to Tennessee's vaccination distribution plan.