MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – In efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Ohio has released a phased plan to begin vaccinating those most at risk. While Phase 1B, which outlines vaccinations for those 65 and up is already underway, hundreds of available doses of the vaccine are being claimed within in minutes after going live online.
The tiered system for vaccinations calls for Phase 1B to begin the week of Jan. 19, with vaccinations being distributed to those 75 and older set to begin on Jan. 25.
Vicky Knisley-Henry, Ph.D., public information officer for Miami County Public Health, said of approximately 300 slots, half were filled online within a matter of 15 minutes, while the other half filled up by phone within the next two hours.
Pubic Health — Dayton and Montgomery County has experienced a similar demand, with all of their vaccine availability for people 80 and up completely full for the current week.
Therese Slyby, executive director of patient care for Kettering Health Network and Kettering Physician Network, said while the doses are limited, the fact that they are getting used quickly is a good thing.
“As many doses as we get, we know that we can give,” Slyby said. “And the Ohio Department of Health has said if you can give those within the week, we will continue to give you more, because they’re really focused on those [places] that can get rid of the doses. So we have not wasted one dose so far.”
Laurie Fox, public information officer for Greene County Public Health, said their list of community members who have signed up to get the vaccine at upcoming clinics is continually growing as well, but she said that is to be expected.
“As the governor has stated, each week the age groups will overlap as we will not be done with the 80+ group since there just isn’t enough vaccine coming into our county and state yet. We have no doubt that we’ll get everyone vaccinated who wants it, but this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is going to take some time,” Fox explained.
While many older adults in Ohio are still waiting to get vaccinated, they can find a silver lining in knowing that a wide range of providers across the state are offering the vaccine, and many of them said they feel confident that everyone who wants the vaccine will receive it.
“At this time, there are no plans to pushing back the timeline,” said Melanie Amato, press secretary for ODH.