POMEROY — The Meigs County Health Department has received multiple calls in regard to the COVID-19 vaccine and the phases of administration. These phases have been outlined by the State of Ohio and are being followed by health departments throughout the state. Currently, the State implemented phase approach contains foour phases with each of these phases broken down into sub-phases such as phase 1A and 1B.
Currently the Meigs County Health Department is vaccinating Phase 1A individuals which include:
· Home health workers
· Hospice workers
· Emergency medical services responders
· Primary care practitioners
· Free-standing emergency department, urgent care, pharmacy, and dialysis center providers not vaccinated by hospitals or healthcare systems
· Dental providers
· Public health employees who are at risk of exposure or transmission, such as vaccinators
· Mobile unit practitioners
· Federally-qualified health center providers
· High-risk ancillary health care staff members
Once phase 1A is complete the health department will be moving on to phase 1B which includes school staff, individuals over the age of 65, and those living with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. According to Governor DeWine during his Jan. 5, press conference, phase 1B will begin in approximately two weeks, and the State will be issuing the guidance on the distribution to this phase in the coming days.
Unfortunately, the Meigs County Health Department is currently only receiving 100 doses of the Moderna Vaccine per week, which will limit how the vaccine will be distributed in accordance with the forthcoming guidance. Once this information is provided to the health department, we will utilize our current emergency response plans to distribute the vaccine in the most feasible manner. It is important to note that individuals who choose not to get their vaccine in the appropriate phase may have to wait until the vaccine is opened to the general public in phases 3 and/or 4.
The vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 and to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch the virus that causes the disease. Vaccination will help prevent serious hospitalizations and deaths and allow us to more quickly return to normal.
Using all the precautions available to help prevent the spread of the virus continues to be critical until a substantial number of individuals have been vaccinated. Individuals need to continue to wear masks, avoid mass gatherings, and practice social distancing to further reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Proper prevention measures coupled with the vaccine will provide the best protection from COVID-19.
If you have any further questions on the COVID-19 vaccination, you can visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program. For Meigs County vaccination information, visit the Meigs County Health Department website at www.meigs-health.com, or call the health department at 740-992-6626.
Information provided by the Meigs County Health Department.
Brody Davis is the public information officer and the emergency response coordinator at the Meigs County Health Department.