MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – Reservation slots at for eight vaccination clinics across the Miami Valley filled up in just a few hours Friday, now health officials are addressing the high demand and low supply.
In Mercer County, registration opened Friday morning and every appointment filled in less than an hour.
“I think for quite a few weeks we’re going to have a situation where we have a lot more people who want the vaccine than we have doses of vaccine to give,” Mercer County Health District Administrator Jason Menchhofer said.
Vaccinations for those age 80 and older will be available next week as Ohio moves into its 1B vaccination phase.
Mercer County Health District is receiving 200 vaccines for their Wednesday 1B vaccination clinic, and they had 90 vaccines leftover from the 1A distribution this week. The county has at least 1,700 people 80 and older.
Menchhofer said they will not wait to satisfy the demand of each age group before moving on to the next. They have to follow the 1B distribution schedule set by the Ohio Department of Health.
“As the weeks progress, and if the supply stays close to the same, people are just going to be competing with a larger number to get their appointment to get the vaccine,” Menchhofer said.
The county’s vaccine clinics will be held on Wednesdays at the Mercer County Fairgrounds. The registration will open the Tuesday before at noon and can be done online or over the phone.
According to vaccine data from the CDC, Ohio ranks 7th for receiving the highest distribution of vaccine compared to all 50 states and Washington D.C. However, Ohio ranks 37th in the number of first doses given per 100,000 people.
Kettering Health Network Patient Safety Officer Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein said getting more doses into the Miami Valley depends on the state receiving more supply, and hospitals, pharmacies and health departments increasing their capacity to vaccinate.
“We need money, we need support, we need the vaccine, we need logistics,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein said he expects to see the pace pick up in the coming weeks.
“Within our network at Kettering and within the state, I think it will be ramping up,” Weinstein said. “Hopefully each week we’ll be getting more vaccine and giving more than we were the week before.”
Both health officials said they have the capability of doing a much larger number of vaccinations, they’re just waiting on the supply.
As of Friday evening, there were still some vaccination appointments available for people who live or work in Clark, Greene and Darke counties.