Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine's Community Health Programs will distribute COVID-19 vaccines across southeast Ohio through its mobile clinics as part of a state-sponsored mass vaccination program.
OU will work with health departments in nearby counties with the highest need for immunizations for about two months to distribute the vaccines.
“We have worked with communities in these counties for decades to deliver health care services, including administering vaccines,” OU Chief Medical Affairs Officer and Heritage College Executive Dean Ken Johnson said in a press release. “We are working closely with the local health departments to craft programs that support and expand the very good work of our local health department partners.”
The medical school’s mobile unit is one of the 15 mass vaccination sites announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week. Clinic details, including locations, dates and times, will be released as soon as they are available.
The mobile clinics are the latest step OU and its medical school have taken to assist with COVID vaccine delivery. Vaccine distribution continues in Athens County, with The Athens City-County Health Department administering vaccines at the new Heritage Hall since January.
“The Heritage College has long provided essential medical care to populations in need through its mobile clinics, so we are well-prepared to take on this important task,” OU President M. Duane Nellis said. “I am proud that we have the infrastructure, expertise and relationships already in place to play this crucial role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
DeWine announced at the beginning of March the next steps in Ohio’s vaccine distribution plan.
Phase 1C includes approximately 246,000 eligible Ohioans with occupations and certain medical conditions not addressed in previous phases, DeWine said. The groups now eligible to be vaccinated includes Type 1 diabetes patients, pregnant women, bone marrow transplant recipients, and those with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), in addition to those working in childcare services, funeral services and law enforcement of corrections.
Also eligible are all Ohioans age 60 or older. This group includes approximately 695,000 people, a news release form the Governor’s Office stated. Phase 1C went into effect on March 4.