Health Dept.

File. Wood County Health Department.

Those aged 80 and over can start receiving a coronavirus vaccine next week. 

Starting Wednesday, 1,200 doses for the 4,200 people in Wood County who are in the age group will be available, announced Ben Robison, health commissioner, during a remote press conference on Thursday. 

“It may take some time. It is encouraging we’re getting 1,200 doses this week. That’s a good way to kick it off, at least among the 80-plus population,” Robison said. 

The numbers will increase each week as more age groups are added, and he said he hopes to see an increase in the number of vaccines received. 

“That’s dependent upon factors being managed outside of Wood County and outside the state of Ohio,” Robison said. “We’ll need to get more doses to keep up with the growing population we are serving.” 

Robison previously has said there are 35,000 to 40,000 county residents who quality for Phase 1B vaccinations. The phase includes those who are age 65 and up who have a severe medical disorder and school employees who want to return to the classrooms or remain educating in person. 

Each week, the required age to be eligible to receive vaccines will be reduced by five years. This means that during the week of Jan. 25, people 75 and older will become eligible, along with people who have severe congenital or developmental disorders. On the week of Feb. 1, people age 70 or older are eligible, as are employees of K-12 schools that commit to in-person or hybrid education. On the week of Feb. 8, people 65 and older become eligible. 

The health department has created a website that includes updated information on vaccine providers that have available appointments. Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org, will be a “one-stop shop” for information about all the providers who are distributing vaccines in the community. It can be accessed by going to www.WoodCountyHealth.org and clicking on COVID-19 Vaccines. 

“As we get those doses at the local level, we are committed to moving them quickly,” Robison said. 

The department is going to try to make vaccines available at as many locations as possible, but given the scarcity of the vaccine, that likely will mean there will be more locations with limited doses. 

“We expect there may be a time in the future to do mass vaccination opportunities, but we think right now that we’ve managed to manage those doses through appointments so we can limit the number of people who have to wait in line,” he said. 

The department’s website will update every week with the list of providers that have vaccines that week. As appointments are filled, that information will be included on the site. 

Scheduling will start Friday at the health department. 

“There is likely to be more demand than we have supply,” Robison said. 

The website will keep track of those providers who have open appointments, and he encouraged individuals to keep trying if there are no open slots. 

“We want everyone who wants a vaccine to get vaccinated, but it may take some time to meet that need across the entire population.” 

No dose will go unused, Robison said. 

“We do have a do-not-waste list and that is something we will use it as a last resort,” he said. 

The list will go into effect if a person doesn’t show for their appointment or a vial is overfilled. 

Robison said the department is in contact with all the providers who have registered in the county and will follow their vaccinations throughout each week. 

“Should we encounter any situation where they’re either getting lack of up-take or they need some additional individuals … we’re going to help support that need,” he said. 

Stand-by scheduling also will be used to ensure all doses are used. 

“Should we get to a situation even with those strategies in place and we find ourselves with doses that are about to expire, then we do fall back to our do-not-waste list to ensure that absolutely every dose, whether it’s an overfilled (vial) or missed appointment dose, goes into the arm of a willing and interested recipient, he said. 

The back-up list is comprised of first responders. 

“If we find ourselves in a situation where the doses are going to expire and we have to move quickly, there’s no one better equipped to move quickly than our first responders,” Robison said. 

The health department and its partners released a video update explaining the process by which people can begin to receive vaccines. The video, which also features representatives of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency, Wood County Committee on Aging, and Wood County Hospital, is available at www.WoodCountyHealth.org and on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0obwBAL5u6E 

For vaccines administered by the health department, a mobile application and website called ArmorVax will be used for registration. Details about this can be found at Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org

To speak to someone to schedule an appointment, call 419-352-8402 and choose option 1. During the initial launch, the health department is partnering with the committee on aging and 211, which will provide support for vaccination scheduling. 

Ohio has administered over 320,000 doses so far, and Wood County in total has had about 4,500 people receive their first dose. 

Vaccine providers

The Wood County Phase 1B vaccine providers for next week: 

Kroger, 1094 N. Main St., Bowling Green, 866-211-5320, kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccin. Not yet taking appointments. 

Kroger, 27322 Carronade Drive, Perrysburg, 866-211-5320, kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccin. Not yet taking appointments. 

Mercy Health Perrysburg Hospital, 12623 Eckel Junction Road, Perrysburg, 567-368-1000. Not yet taking appointments. Scheduling will begin Friday at noon. 

Wood County Health Department, 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green, 419-352-8402 option 1. Not yet taking appointments. Scheduling will begin Friday at noon. 

Wood County Hospital, 950 W. Wooster St., Bowling Green, 419-728-0642, www.woodcountyhospital.org. Not yet taking appointments. 

(Information from the Wood County Emergency Management Association.) 

Below is the press release from the health department:

Wood County has announced its plans for beginning to vaccinate people in Ohio’s Phase 1B. It begins next week with those age 80 and older.

COVID-19 vaccines continue to be a scarce resource across the United States, and it will take time to provide vaccines to everyone who wants to receive them. For the first week of Tier 1B, five registered providers in Wood County will receive a combined 1,200 doses.

Wood County Health Department and its partners released a video update Thursday explaining the process by which people can begin to receive vaccines as Phase 1B begins on Tuesday. The video, which also features representatives of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency, Wood County Committee on Aging, and Wood County Hospital, is available at www.WoodCountyHealth.org and on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0obwBAL5u6E

“Together, we are well-equipped to lead this effort in our community,” said Jeff Klein, director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency.

Each week, the required age to be eligible to receive vaccines will be reduced by five years. This means that during the week of Jan. 25, people 75 and older will become eligible, along with people who have severe congenital or developmental disorders. On the week of Feb. 1, people age 70 or older are eligible, as are employees of K-12 schools that commit to in-person or hybrid education. On the week of Feb. 8, people 65 and older become eligible.

“While we know that many people in our community are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we must be patient while demand for the vaccine remains higher than the available supply,” said Denise Niese, executive director for the Wood County Committee on Aging. “As vaccine supply increases, we will be able to vaccinate more of those in Phase 1B, and eventually, all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.”

When a new age group becomes eligible, vaccinations may not be complete for the previous age group. It may take a long time to provide vaccines to everyone who wants them, given the limited doses that are currently available.

The Wood County Health Department has created a website that includes updated information on vaccine providers in Wood County that have available appointments. This website, Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org, will be a “one-stop shop” for information about all the providers who are distributing vaccines in the community. It can also be accessed by going to www.WoodCountyHealth.org and clicking on COVID-19 Vaccines.

This website will include each vaccine provider and a point of contact for scheduling vaccine appointments to be vaccinated. The list will be updated as providers receive additional doses each week, and also when the health department is notified that providers no longer have appointments available.

For vaccines administered by the health department, a mobile application and website called ArmorVax will be used for registration. Details about this can be found at Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org.

Anyone who would like to speak to someone to schedule an appointment can call 419-352-8402 and choose option 1. During the initial launch, the health department is partnering with the Wood County Committee on Aging and 211, which will provide support for vaccination scheduling.

Vaccine appointments will likely be reserved quickly, and people may need to keep checking back. Each provider may handle scheduling differently, so go to Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org to learn more about those details.

“Moving into Phase 1B will provide an opportunity to protect our most vulnerable and to help keep kids in school,” said Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Robison. “We are committed to administering every dose provided to Wood County every week, both now, when supply is limited, and later when more doses are available.”

Wood County has no control over vaccine shipment quantities and delivery dates. The county has and will continue to be committed to getting vaccines out as quickly as possible. There is no stockpiling of doses.

Both public and private K-12 schools are working with the health department to develop their vaccination plans. Each school district may take different approaches, based on their specific needs. Schools will be releasing details directly to their eligible staff.

COVID-19 vaccines were widely tested to make sure they meet safety standards, the health department said in a press release. Ohio has administered over 320,000 doses so far, and Wood County in total has had about 4,500 people receive their first dose. Possible vaccine reactions include fever, fatigue and muscle aches. Severe reactions are rare and are reported for investigation. While the vaccine is a tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone must continue to wear masks, maintain social distance and follow all public health guidance to obtain the best protection, the release stated.

“Even after you have been vaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing. The vaccine will protect you from getting ill from COVID-19; however, not enough is known about whether or not you can still carry the virus and spread it to others,” said Dr. Michael Lemon, chief medical officer of Wood County Hospital.

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