Gov. Mike DeWine updated Ohioans Thursday on the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.
He said Phase 1B vaccinations may begin Tuesday, Jan. 19 for those age 80 and up.
“Those 80 and older, outside of long-term care, constitute up to 420,000 people,” he said. “We expect to receive 100,000 doses that first week. Those receiving vaccines will receive them from physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, in-home health service providers, as well as some retail pharmacies.”
DeWine said a webinar will be held Monday for providers that will help in the planning throughout Ohio’s 88 counties, including how much vaccine each will receive.
“On Wednesday and Thursday, we are asking local Emergency Management Agencies to hold a press conference announcing where vaccinations will be available in their counties and how individuals can receive them,” DeWine said. “Some providers may require appointments, some may hold drive-up clinics, or take walk-ins, but we expect every provider to clearly state how they will administer vaccinations to eligible individuals.”
“We are excited that vaccines will very soon be available to the most vulnerable members of our community — those that are at highest risk of severe illness and even death from this virus,” said Clinton County Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer.
However, she also cautioned, “We do not know how much vaccine will be made available to the CCHD, but we understand that other local providers are being recruited to assist with vaccine delivery.
“We are currently not taking any appointments nor do we have a ‘wait list’ for those wishing to receive vaccine,” she said. “We will be unable to plan for distribution until we know how much vaccine we will receive and when.
“We ask that you do not call our office nor should you stop by our office, but stayed tuned to the News Journal, WAHL radio and our social media platforms.”
She added, “This 100-year global pandemic has been hard on everyone. We are thrilled that we can see light at the end of this long dark tunnel.”
DeWine said the plan and hope is to “add” 5 years to those who may receive the vaccine each week; in other words, on Jan. 25, the age range would fall to 75, then 70 the week after that. “When a new age range opens, that doesn’t mean that vaccinations should be complete for the previous age range. Again, it will take a number of weeks to distribute all of the vaccine given the limited doses available.
DeWine also said, “In the week of January 25th vaccinations will be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. We will announce in the coming days how those individuals will be able to receive their vaccinations if they choose.
“During the week of February 1st, we will begin to vaccinate our school personnel. This week we are sending forms to be signed by superintendents — we are asking them to agree to go back to full in-person or hybrid learning by March 1st. That is a condition of getting the vaccine.