Because of the weather across the state and nation, Pfizer and Moderna have said direct vaccine shipments could be delayed one or two days, according to a press release from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has told all providers expecting direct shipments to let them know about the possible delays. Vaccine providers that were scheduled to receive them from the Ohio Receipt, Store and State (RSS) warehouse got them on a two-hour delay Tuesday.
DeWine said in the release that many providers are going to continue with the vaccine appointments as scheduled, but he also said some people have canceled appointments because of snow emergencies. The providers that have canceled appointments have contacted people through phone calls, email or social media. DeWine said that anyone worried their appointment might have been canceled should contact their provider or look at the website.
DeWine said the state’s centralized scheduling system has been created and the ODH is currently working to enroll vaccine providers in the system. The website “will serve as a singular location for Ohioans to confirm that they are eligible to be vaccinated, identify nearby providers, and schedule their vaccine appointment,” the news release said.
Ohio will directly work with the vaccine providers to integrate them into the system, help them get through their wait lists and possibly put those commitments into the system. In the future, DeWine said, these providers will be expected to use the system in Ohio, and further guidance will be given pertaining to deadlines.
“Once most participating providers have signed up, the next phase will be to make the site live to those seeking to be vaccinated,” DeWine said. “Our goal is for Ohioans to have a positive customer experience when we launch the site to make appointments.”
According to DeWine, Ohio and about 40 other states decided they were not going to use the centralized system the federal government is looking to develop.
For those without internet service, DeWine said outside partners like the Area Agencies on Aging will be available to help schedule appointments.
The ODH announced in the news release that it will hold virtual town hall meetings that focus on specific minority communities. More details on these meetings can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination-program/town-hall. They will have local medical professionals and community leaders guide the conversation and talk about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The meetings are intended to jump start conversations and give local leaders and attendees the tools they need to better inform members of their communities about vaccine facts, enhance access to trusted resources, and drive conversations in their own communities about why vaccinations are important,” DeWine said.
Cases per 100,000 are a way for counties with diverse populations to be compared. Highland County, based on case statistics from Feb. 1 to Feb. 14, had the 14th most cases per 100,000 among the state’s 88 counties,with 366.1 cases. In that time, the county had 158 cases, according to ODH statistics.
According to ODH’s COVID-19 Dashboard, Highland County has had 3,189 COVID-19cases, 166 hospitalizations and 46 deaths, with the last one coming on Jan. 28.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.