OHIO VALLEY — As the State of Ohio begins to vaccinate additional populations against COVID-19 this week, multiple vaccine providers are being added to help meet the demand.
According to the vaccine timeline announced by Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, Ohioans age 80 and older will begin to receive vaccines the week of Jan. 19.
Phase 1B of vaccine distribution will include the following groups. When a new age group begins, vaccinations may not be complete for the previous age group. It will take a number of weeks to distribute all of the vaccine given the limited doses available.
The week of Jan. 19: Ohioans 80 years of age and older.
The week of Jan. 25: Ohioans 75 years of age and older; those with severe congenital or developmental disorders.
According to the COVID-19 vaccine information, this includes cerebral palsy; spina bifida; congenital heart disease; type 1 diabetes; inherited metabolic disorders; severe neurological disorders. including epilepsy; severe genetic disorders, including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Turner syndrome; severe lung disease, including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma; sickle cell anemia; and alpha and beta thalassemia.
The week of Feb. 1: Ohioans 70 years of age and older; employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
The week of Feb. 8: Ohioans 65 years of age and older.
A list of vaccine providers in the state can be found at vaccines.coronavirus.ohio.gov. It is important to call or visit the website of a provider in advance to ensure the provider is conducting vaccinations at this time and to make arrangements to be vaccinated. Websites, contact information, and addresses listed are submitted by vaccine providers. As new providers are registered, provide vaccination location information, and receive shipments, they will be added to the page.
The database lists 747 providers as of Friday morning, including five in Gallia and Meigs Counties.
Vaccination locations in Gallia County include: the Gallia County Health Department, Holzer Medical Center and Hopewell Health Centers Gallipolis.
In Meigs County, vaccination locations are the Meigs County Health Department and Hopewell Health Centers on Pomeroy Pike.
In neighboring counties, vaccine providers include Kroger Pharmacy in Athens and Belpre; Shrivers Pharmacy in Athens and Nelsonville; Hopewell Health Centers in Athens and Nelsonville; Marietta Memorial in Belpre and Marietta.
According to a statement on the Holzer Health System Facebook page, “First-dose vaccine appointments for COVID-19 will be available to individuals 80 years of age and older at Holzer beginning Monday, January 18.” Call 740-446-5566 to schedule an appointment. (Appointments based on amount of vaccines available.)
“Hopewell Health Center-Pomeroy located at 41865 Pomeroy Pike, Pomeroy Ohio is expected to receive 200 doses of the Moderna Vaccine mid next week,” Hopewell’s Amber Johnson stated in an email.
“We will be able to vaccinate our patients as well as the general public who meet the age requirement of 80 years or older,” added Johnson. The vaccines will be given by appointment only, which can be scheduled by calling 740-992-0540.
The Gallia County Health Department is scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for residents in the following age groups and categories: 80 years and older, 75-plus and those with severe congenital conditions, 70-plus, 65-plus. To schedule an appointment, call 740-441-2018, 740-441-2950, or 740-441-2951. The health department stresses a scheduled appointment is required to receive the vaccine.
The Meigs County Health Department is compiling a list of Meigs County residents who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The following age groups and categories are currently being accepted: 80 years and older, 75-plus and those with severe congenital conditions, 70-plus, 65-plus. To be placed on the list for an appointment, call 740-444-4540. Individuals are asked to utilize this number and do not call the Health Department’s main line to be placed on the waiting list. Your call will be returned to acknowledge receipt within 24-48 hours during normal business hours (Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.). Appointments will be made based on the availability of vaccine and in compliance with guidance issued by the state of Ohio.
As state officials and local health departments roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. DeWine has also asked the state’s Area Agencies on Aging to help direct older Ohioans to their nearest provider.
For Meigs County, that agency is Buckeye Hills Regional Council.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council’s Information and Assistance team is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-331-2644 to answer questions about the vaccine and help individuals connect to local vaccine providers in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington counties. Buckeye Hills is also sharing regular updates on its website at buckeyehills.org/vaccine-information and on its social media pages.
In Gallia County, the agency is the Area Agency on Aging 7.
For more information about the vaccine and/or vaccine providers in your area, call the Area Agency on Aging District 7 at 1-800-582-7277 and ask for the Resource Center or e-mail email@example.com. The AAA7’s website also has a page designated to the COVID-19 vaccine. Included will be county-specific information, FAQs, and a handout on “Myths vs. Facts” Log on to www.aaa7.org and look for the “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” informational box on the Home Page.
Additional information on local vaccine opportunities will be provided as it becomes available.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.