Gov. Mike DeWine announced additional guidance Thursday regarding the order in which individuals in his second priority group will receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Tier 1B includes Ohioans 65 and older, those of any age with severe medical conditions and K-12 staff.
DeWine clarified Thursday that the group will be further divided by age, with the eldest eligible first.
Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to those 80 and older, living outside of long-term care facilities.
He noted that group’s population is approximately 420,000. However, he only anticipates Ohio receiving 100,000 doses that week.
DeWine emphasized that it will take several weeks to vaccinate each age group, since supply is so limited.
Even so, he said a new age range will become eligible each consecutive week although the previous group will not be completely vaccinated.
On Jan. 25, the vaccine will become available to those who are 75 and older.
Individuals with severe congenital, developmental or early on-set medical disorders will also be eligible to receive the vaccine at this time.
The following week, Ohioans who are 70 and older can be vaccinated.
On Feb. 8, the youngest of Tier 1B’s age groups, those 65 and older, may receive the vaccine.
He said older individuals who choose to be vaccinated will receive shots from a coalition of healthcare providers, including physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, in-home health service providers and retail pharmacies.
The Ohio Department of Health currently has 1,700 providers registered to distribute vaccines. DeWine said not all of them will receive doses in the initial Tier 1B shipments, but they are prepared to vaccinate their communities as supply increases.
He said these providers will participate in a virtual webinar on Monday to prepare for mass vaccinations of those in Tier 1B.
The next day, providers who have been selected to vaccinate will receive information on their shipment sizes.
On Wednesday and Thursday, local Emergency Management Agencies will hold press conferences announcing where vaccines will be available in their counties and who can receive them.
EMAs will also provide information regarding the format in which vaccines will be administered. Union County Health Commissioner Jason Orcena previously said the health department will continue its drive-thru clinics by appointment.
On Thursday, following the press conferences, an online tool will be available at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov that lists where vaccines are available and who is eligible to receive them.
The Journal-Tribune will continue to provide updates on local vaccine distribution as plans are finalized.
Once Tier 1B vaccinations begin on Jan. 19, DeWine said shipments will be delivered to providers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He said he expects them to be administered the day after they are received.
The governor also elaborated on eligibility for K-12 school staff.
This group has been prioritized in order to meet a goal of having schools open by March 1, he said.
School personnel will be eligible to receive the vaccine one month before that date, on Feb. 1.
He said ODH is working with districts throughout the state this week. In order to receive the vaccine, superintendents must sign forms agreeing to go back to fully in-person or hybrid modes of learning by March 1.
Those who agree to those terms are asked to send the number of staff members they believe will choose to receive the shot, as well as information on potential partners for distribution.
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