PREBLE COUNTY — As if 2020 and COVID-19 weren’t enough, now we all face the many unanswered questions of when, where and how do I get vaccinated. It seems the information changes every day, sometimes more than once a day. How can I find out when to schedule my shot, how do I schedule, where do I schedule. There are many resources out there that continue to update vaccination information each day. The Ohio Department of Health has issued the following:
In the United States, two COVID-19 vaccines have been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These vaccines, manufactured by PfizerBioNTech and Moderna, began arriving in Ohio in December 2020. During the early phases of administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, supply will be limited. This means that not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away, but, in time, as vaccination production ramps up, every Ohioan who chooses may receive a vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. More information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.
On Tuesday, Jan. 19, vaccinations will be available to those who are 80 years of age and older. Those 80 and older, outside of long-term care, constitute up to 420,000 people. We expect to receive 100,000 doses that first week. Those receiving vaccines will receive them from physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, in-home health service providers, as well as some retail pharmacies.
On Thursday, Jan. 14, we launched an online tool on https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov where individuals will be able to see who is distributing vaccinations in their counties to what eligible group. Again, as more vaccinations are available, more providers will be added. On Jan 25, we anticipate vaccinations will open up to those 75 years old and older.
The following week it will open to people 70 and older, and then Feb. 8, the vaccinations will be available to those 65 and older. When a new age range opens, that doesn’t mean that vaccinations should be complete for the previous age range. Again, it will take a number of weeks to distribute all of the vaccine given the limited doses available.
In the week of Jan. 25, vaccinations will be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. We will announce in the coming days how those individuals will be able to receive their vaccinations if they choose. During the week of Feb. 1, we will begin to vaccinate our school personnel. This week we are sending forms to be signed by superintendents – we are asking them to agree to go back to full in-person or hybrid learning by March 1. The vaccine distribution plan for future priority populations is still under development and will be shared publicly as soon as it is finalized. As more information becomes available about who can receive the vaccine, and when they can receive it we will communicate this information publicly through the news media and will share information at coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine(s) available. Clinical trials study the effectiveness of the vaccine in thousands of study participants. Data from these trials will be provided to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine vaccine safety and effectiveness. The FDA uses rigorous standards during the evaluation and if it determines that a vaccine meets its safety and effectiveness requirements, it can make these available by approval or emergency use authorization. After the FDA makes its determination, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will review available data before making final vaccine recommendations to the CDC. There have been no shortcuts in the vaccine development process. The COVID-19 vaccine development process involved several steps comparable with those used to develop other vaccines, such as the flu or measles vaccine.
Initially, there will be a limited number of vaccines available, and Ohio is committed to making it widely available, for those that want to receive it, as quickly as possible, as shipments of vaccine arrive. In conjunction with the recommendations of medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Ohio has identified who will be among the first to receive those very early shipments in Phase 1A, should they choose to be vaccinated, listed below:
• Healthcare workers and personnel, who are routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients.
• Residents and staff at nursing homes.
• Residents and staff at assisted living facilities.
• Patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals.
• People with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities, or centers, and staff at those locations.
• Residents and staff at our two homes for Ohio veterans.
• EMS responders.
The staff at the PCCOA is working very hard to stay abreast of the latest and most up to date information regarding the vaccination process and assure you we will continue to provide you with current updates and resources. If you are concerned and need someone to speak with, please call the Senior Activities Center for more information and guidance to help you navigate through this plethora of information. Our phone number, website and Facebook page are listed below.
More information is available at: https://rb.gy/llzqt1, https://rb.gy/tm2gyb and https://rb.gy/dbzv7q.
To stay up to date on all of our activities, trips and senior news sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter the “Senior Scene.” Membership at the Senior Center is $10 a year. In addition to other benefits, members automatically receive our bi-monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter which features all our latest news and activities, additional benefits are discounts on trips and select activities. Like our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/preblecountycouncilonaging/ or give us a call at 937-456-4947.
Visit our website at www.PrebleSeniorCenter.org.