Warner details latest plans for Covid vaccines

First phase will focus on health care workers, nursing homes

By McKenzie Caldwell - [email protected]

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released a draft of its COVID-19 vaccination plan last month, which details how Covid vaccines will be disbursed throughout the state.

When Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner reported that the health department had received “more detailed planning” for mass COVID-19 vaccination efforts in a Facebook post last week, Warner added, “There are A LOT of questions about what this will look like, including questions about how much public interest there will be in getting this vaccine. Regardless of the final details, we should all understand that vaccines will be focused initially on high risk occupations and high risk individuals. It will likely be quite some time before we have enough vaccine available to truly do mass vaccination clinics that are open to the public.”

The draft plan stated that as CDC guidance indicated that the COVID-19 vaccine may be only available in limited qualities when it is first released, state entities and other partners will make the vaccine available to Ohioans in phases based on risk level.

The timeline for this plan will rely on the availability of vaccinations and the size of populations included in each phase, the draft plan indicated.

According to the ODH’s draft plan, Covid vaccines will be distributed in three main phases:

In the first phase, the state and its partners will offer vaccines to high-risk health care workers, first responders, older adults living in congregate settings such as nursing homes, and those at significant risk due to underlying or comorbid conditions.

In the second phase, the state and its partners will offer vaccines to those working in fields essential to society, such as health care and human services operations, who are at critical risk and have a high risk of exposure; teachers and school staff; people of all ages with comorbid or underlying conditions; any older adults who were not included in the first phase; and people in homeless shelters, group homes and people in prisons, jails and detention centers.

In the third phase, the state and its partners will offer vaccines to young adults, children, and those who are working in industries and occupations important to the functioning of society and who have an increased risk of exposure.

Following these phases, the state will offer the COVID-19 vaccination to Ohioans who were not vaccinated in previous phases.

The ODH and its partners are using information such as census data in order to identify the populations involved in each phase and to ensure each community in Ohio receives an adequate number of vaccinations.

The state is also using evaluation data on the H1N1 response to help shape plans for its COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Based on this data, the state plans to focus on communication with its partners, the media and the general public; training and education for public health and volunteer workers; and coordination within the public health workforce and with partners.

To view the full draft of the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination plan, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/docs/Interim-Draft-COVID-Vaccination-Plan-10-16-20.pdf.

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

First phase will focus on health care workers, nursing homes

By McKenzie Caldwell

[email protected]