Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution to Begin for Older Ohioans

January 15, 2021

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in collaboration with local health departments is preparing to distribute safe, effective Covid-19 vaccines statewide starting the week of January 19 to Ohioans who are most at risk. Most older adults living in the community (not in a long-term care facility) are included in this Phase 1B of Ohio’s Covid-19 vaccination plans. Because vaccine availability is expected to be limited for some time, Governor Dewine announced a tiered system for offering vaccinations to the estimated 2.2 million Ohioans eligible for the vaccine under this phase, beginning with those who are age 80 or older.

When can I get my vaccine? 

  • Week of Jan. 19: Ohioans 80 years of age and older.
  • Week of Jan. 25: Ohioans 75 years of age and older; those with severe congenital or developmental disorders.
  • Week of Feb. 1: Ohioans 70 years of age and older; employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
  • Week of Feb. 8: Ohioans 65 years of age and older.

Anyone who misses their specific week of age eligibility may schedule for the following weeks. The ODH is working to ensure that every dose received in the state is used. Click here for updated information about vaccine availability and distribution in Ohio.

Where can I get my vaccine?

Local public health departments and emergency management agencies are releasing information to the public about how and where older adults can get vaccinated. It is anticipated that vaccines will be available from local health departments, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, as well as from some retail pharmacies. Each vaccine provider will have its own vaccine appointment scheduling process. The vaccine itself is free, but some individual providers may charge small administration fees.

A vaccine provider search will be available at starting today allowing Ohioans to search by county, ZIP code, and category to find a provider in their area administering the vaccine.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) call center is available to answer questions regarding the coronavirus, open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Or visit the ODH coronavirus website for more information.

Vaccine Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for two Covid-19 vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. This data demonstrates that the known and potential benefits of the vaccines outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Click here for more information about vaccine safety and the clinical trial process.

Other Questions about Vaccination

To help answer additional questions you may have about the vaccine side effects, efficacy, what to bring to your appointment and more, please check this ODH Myths vs. Facts site for authoritative and regularly updated information.

COVID-19 and Older Adults

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease at higher risk for more serious Covid-19 illness. Age increases the risk that the respiratory system or lungs will shut down when an older person has Covid-19 disease. The majority of Ohio deaths related to Covid-19 have occurred to the population age 60 and older.

  • Click here to read about CDC recommendations and extra precautions for older adults.
  • Click here to view a checklist for older Ohioans and people with chronic health conditions.

The Area Agency on Aging will continue to update information as we receive it to help keep you informed and safe. Call 937-223-HELP (4357) or 1-800-258-7277 if any of the above information doesn’t answer your questions.

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