Athens City-County Health Department

The Athens City-County Health Department. File art.

Coronavirus vaccines for older Ohioans will soon be available, with vaccines for school employees also on the horizon.

Gov. DeWine announced during a Thursday press conference more details regarding Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Beginning Jan. 19, vaccinations will be available to those who are 80 years of age and older, the governor said.

Those 80 and older, outside of long-term care facilities, constitute "up to 420,000 people," DeWine said. The governor also noted that Ohio should expect 100,000 doses of the vaccine that first week.

Those receiving vaccines will receive them from physicians, local health departments, hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, in-home health service providers as well as some retail pharmacies, DeWine said. The Ohio Department of Health has roughly 1,700 providers registered to distribute vaccinations, with more providers expected.

Some providers may require appointments, hold drive-up clinics, or take walk-ins. DeWine said he expects every provider to clearly state how they will administer vaccinations to eligible people. A digital tool will soon be launched on the state's COVID-19 website to help people learn more about vaccine distribution in their area: particularly where and how to obtain a dose of the vaccine.

On Jan. 25, DeWine said he expects vaccinations will open up to those aged 75 years old and older. When a new age range opens, that doesn’t mean that vaccinations should be complete for the previous age range, DeWine cautioned, additionally noting that it will take weeks to distribute all of the vaccine, given the limited pool of doses available.

Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders on Jan. 25, DeWine said.

On Feb. 1, the vaccination process will open to people 70 and older, and on this date, the state will begin to vaccinate school personnel. DeWine said the state will be asking superintendents of schools to send along the number of staff they believe will choose to take the vaccine. Superintendents will also be asked to indicate if their districts are already working with partners for vaccinations.

Tentatively planned for Feb. 8, the vaccinations will become available to those 65 and older, according to ODH.

As of Friday afternoon, there are 3,340 total known cases of COVID-19 in Athens County: 501 are active, and 2,830 have recovered, according to the Athens City-County Health Department.

According to COVID-19 summary data compiled by the ODH, nine deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in Athens County, occurring among males and females 60 and older.

Young people ages 0-19 and 20-29 make up the vast majority of total cases in Athens County. Other age groups have experienced growth in cases as health leaders previously reported that the county has experienced community spread that cannot be linked back to OU students.

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