Coronavirus: Details about how, where Phase 1B can get vaccine to come soon

Information about how, where and when Ohioans ages 80 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine will be available Wednesday and Thursday

Local health departments, vaccine providers and emergency management agencies will release details about where residents in their county can be vaccinated on Wednesday and Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

“We expect the process to look different depending on the provider,” the governor said. “Some may hold walk up clinics, others may take appointments. Each provider can decide what they believe works.”

An estimated 420,000 people ages 80 and older will be eligible to start getting vaccinated beginning Monday as Phase 1B starts in Ohio. With the state set to receive an estimated 100,000 doses for this group by next week, the governor noted that it will take time to distribute the vaccine to everyone who is eligible for it.

The state has tapped 800 approved vaccine providers, such as pharmacies, hospitals and doctor’s offices, for this next phase. The providers must administer any vaccine doses they receive within seven days.

Information about where Ohioans can get vaccinated will also be available on the Ohio Department of Health’s website starting Thursday. Users will be able to see which providers have received vaccines and will be able to search by county and ZIP code.

Ohio hospitals have a deadline of 11:59 p.m. Sunday to finish up vaccinating their employees against coronavirus so they can shift to the next phase, DeWine said. If a hospital can’t meet that goal, the state will ask for vaccine doses to be returned to the state.

As reported by the Dayton Daily News earlier this week, Premier health and Kettering Health both announced that by the end of this week they will finish distributing 90% of the 9,400 doses each hospital system received.

“Our goal is to meet the governor’s goal for administering the vaccine as outlined in today’s press conference,” a Premier Health spokesman said in an emailed statement. “We are actively scheduling our remaining vaccine and anticipate that approximately 90 percent will be administered by the end of this week. We will have the capacity freed up to start administering any Phase 1B doses by next week, in keeping with the governor’s expectations.”

Kettering Health said in a statement the hospital system “will continue to vaccinate through the weekend with a goal of meeting Governor DeWine’s timeline … Kettering Health Network is beginning to look for ways we can support our community once the COVID-19 vaccination is available.”

Dayton Children’s Hospital has distributed nearly 90% of its allocated first doses and is scheduling the remaining amount, a spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center said the hospital intends to distribute all its allotted doses by Sunday night in partnership with the Clark and Champaign County health departments. SRMC is working with the same departments to begin vaccinating residents 80 years old and up starting next week.

“When a new age range opens, that doesn’t mean that vaccinations should be complete for the previous age range,” DeWine said. “Again, it will take a number of weeks to distribute all of the vaccine given the limited doses available.”

The state is working with area agencies on aging across Ohio to help get seniors vaccinated. The agencies will not be distributing the vaccines, but will be able to answer questions about how to get it, as well as address safety concerns. Any seniors with questions should call 1-866-5678 with questions.

Vaccinations will continue for those in Phase 1A as the next groups begin. With more than 2,211,000 people estimated in Phase 1B, vaccinations are expected to take months to get through the entire group.

The governor noted that he hopes a change in the Trump administration’s policy to withhold vaccines to be used as second doses will help Ohio get them distributed quicker.

By no longer withholding those doses, DeWine said he takes it as a positive sign that the administration is confident in the vaccine’s supply chain.

As of Tuesday, 321,506 people in Ohio have received their first dose of the vaccine, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That’s about 2.8% of the state population and 32% of the estimated Phase 1A population.

About 85% of Ohio nursing homes have received the coronavirus vaccine through a federal program that partners facilities with pharmacies, the governor said.

Ohio recorded 100 deaths attributed to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, for a total of 9,802 since the pandemic began.

While the deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, it does not reflect when the deaths occurred or if they all happened on the same day.

Cases increased by 7,981, bringing Ohio’s total to 792,938.

Ohio recorded 486 news hospitalizations, with 4,010 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state as of Tuesday. Since Jan. 7, statewide coronavirus hospitalizations have stayed below 4,100 patients, according to ODH.

Southwest Ohio has 1,141 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday, with 270 in ICUs and 225 on ventilators. Tuesday is the sixth-straight day coronavirus inpatients hovered around 1,100.

What you need to know

Starting Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health’s website will have information about where Ohioans can get vaccinated. Users will be able to see which providers have received vaccines and will be able to search by county and ZIP code.

Here’s the schedule of Ohio vaccines:

Week of Jan. 18: Age 80 and above

Week of Jan. 25: Age 75 and above and Ohioans with severe medical conditions.

Week of Feb. 1: Age 70 and above and K-12 school staff.

Week of Feb. 8: Age 65 and above