Athens City-County Health Department

The Athens City-County Health Department. File art.

The Athens City-County Health Department announced last week that it will soon cease accepting registrants for its coronavirus vaccine interest list, moving forward in favor of granting eligible residents the ability to call and schedule appointments on their own.

Those who placed themselves on the list before 4 p.m. last Wednesday will still be contacted in the future for scheduling.

The change was made after the department realized that many of those on the list who were contacted for scheduling had already obtained a vaccine or arranged to receive one from another provider in the county, according to a Facebook post.

Residents age 75 and older are eligible this week call the health department (740-592-4431) to sign up for vaccine clinics that will be held at the Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine building located 191 W. Union St. in Athens.

The release instructed residents to keep an eye on the health department’s Facebook page for updates on vaccination procedures.

Next week, Ohioans age 70 and older and employees of K-12 schools become eligible for vaccines. The following week anybody age 65 or older can receive a shot.

The health department’s new system for appointments closely mirrors that of every other provider in Athens County, including Hopewell Health Centers, Kroger and Shrivers Pharmacy, which all conduct immunizations on a first come, first served basis.

Up to this point, the health department asked those age 65 and older to register on its interest list either by calling or filling out an online form where recipients would eventually receive an automated phone call containing a phone number that’s used to schedule an appointment.

The process left many confused and in the dark about when they may be selected for a shot.

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