Thursday mass vaccine clinic has openings


Warner wonders if there’s not much local interest left

By Jacob Clary - jclary@aimmediamidwest.com



The Highland County Health Department is still looking to schedule appointments for its April 1 mass vaccination clinic. The clinic takes place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hillsboro YMCA.

“Our Thursday, April 1 clinic is not nearly at capacity yet, and the big question is whether there is not much interest in vaccine left in Highland County, or if we are just not doing a good enough job at announcing our availability for these clinics,” Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner said.

Those interested can schedule a vaccine at https://highlandcovidvax.timetap.com or by calling 614-881-1882, 937-981-1121, 937-393-3406 or 937-393-6377.

In other news, Highland County has confirmed its second case of the B.1.1.7 UK Variant, according to an update from Warner. He said he expects to see cases shift to the new strain over the “next several weeks.” He said similar shifts have been seen in other states and countries in Europe, where they became more common over time.

Warner also said there are signs case rates are increasing nationally, too.

“Whether this is due to the UK Variant B.1.1.7 or other factors is still to be determined,” he said. “We will be watching this case increase closely to see if it is related to variants, whether it has any relation to states who have removed Covid precautions, and if these case spikes will result in corresponding hospitalization or death increases. My hope is that we will not see hospitalization and death increases at the same rate that we saw with previous case spikes because a large number of our most high-risk population have been fully vaccinated.”

Warner said the county’s case rate is 173.77 cases per 100,000 residents, but its 14-day trend is dropping. However, at the time of the update, Highland County was in the top 25 percent of per capita case rates and had the highest per capita case rate in Southwest Ohio.

According to the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard on Monday, since the pandemic began, Highland County has had 3,414 total COVID-19 cases, 179 hospitalizations, 57 deaths and 3,233 presumed recovered from the virus.

In terms of vaccines, the dashboard said 19.33 percent of the population in Highland County has started its vaccinations, equaling 8,341 people. The ODH considers started as “when an individual has received at least one valid dose of COVID-19 vaccine.”

The dashboard lists the following COVID-19 figures for various age groups in Highland County:

* 0-19 — 26 people, or 0.23 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 20-29 — 239 people, or 4.84 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 30-39 — 412 people, or 8.55 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 40-49 — 710 people, or 13.48 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 50-59 — 1,420 people, or 24.52 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 60-64 — 1,156 people, or 37.94 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 65-69 — 1,252 people, or 48.36 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 70-74 — 1,149 people, or 53.84 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 75-79 — 851 people, or 56.66 percent, have started their vaccines.

* 80 and over — 1,126 people, or 57.95 percent, have started their vaccines.

According to the dashboard, 11.11 percent of the population in Highland County has completed its vaccinations, equaling 4,795 people. The ODH considers completed when “an individual has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses and is considered fully immunized.”

The dashboard lists the following COVID-19 figures for various age groups in Highland County:

* 0-19 — Nine people, or 0.08 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 20-29 — 139 people, or 2.82 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 30-39 — 234 people, or 4.85 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 40-49 — 345 people, or 6.55 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 50-59 — 569 people, or 9.83 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 60-64 — 410 people, or 13.46 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 65-69 — 668 people, or 25.80 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 70-74 — 822 people, or 38.52 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 75-79 — 645 people, or 42.94 percent, have completed their vaccines.

* 80 and over — 954 people, or 49.10 percent, have completed their vaccines.

Warner said the county had its largest clinic to date on March 25, with about 775 first and second doses provided.

Kroger is also launching its “large-scale” COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Wilmington Air Park, with appointments beginning on April 1. This site is booked with appointments only.

“When I tried to see appointment availability today (last Friday) around 4:30 p.m., I was getting some error messages, so the system may be seeing a high volume of registrations right now,” Warner said. “Be patient and keep trying if you run into any problems.”

The Wilmington clinic will offer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is only one dose, at no cost to anybody over 18 years old. Warner said the health department gets “a lot of requests” for this type of vaccine, and that it is a “very exciting regional project.” He also said it is scheduled to be at the air park for at least 60 days.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/03/web1_Covid-graphic-to-use.jpgHighland County Health Department graphic
Warner wonders if there’s not much local interest left

By Jacob Clary

jclary@aimmediamidwest.com