Wood County announces plans for start of Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Vaccine opportunities will be posted at Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org

Wood County has announced its plans for beginning to vaccinate people in Ohio’s Phase 1B, which 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, Jan. 19. 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 Wood County Health Department, a mobile application and website called ArmorVax will be used for registration. Details about this can be found at Vaccine.WoodCountyHealth.org. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone to schedule an appointment, you 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 2-1-1, who are providing 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 Wood County 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. 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 great 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.

“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.

The mission of the Wood County Health Department is to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the health of everyone in Wood County. Our Community Health Center provides comprehensive medical services for men, women and children. We welcome all patients, including uninsured or underinsured clients, regardless of their ability to pay, and we accept most third-party insurance. For more information, visit www.WoodCountyHealth.org.