Trying to understand how to get the coronavirus vaccine can create a whirlwind of confusion for even the most dedicated of news readers given the decentralization of the entire process.
Though be warned: vaccine supply remains severely short and there is no guarantee that you’ll get a dose — even if you are of age.
Here’s all of the information we know about how you or a loved one can schedule an appointment to be immunized.
Am I eligible for a vaccine?
As of Feb 8. anybody age 65 or older can receive a vaccine. Also eligible are those with severe congenital or developmental disabilities and K-12 school teachers.
Who will become eligible next?
It’s not clear which groups of people will be prioritized next.
"The Governor has only discussed phase 1A and 1B, all decisions regarding eligibility and distribution are made by the Governor and his team," Athens City-County Health Department Administrator Jack Pepper said. "We will continue to offer vaccine, as it is available, to the identified phase 1A and 1B recipients."
Where do I schedule an appointment?
There are many providers in Athens County carrying the vaccine. Below is a list of them all with additional details on how they’re managing distribution since each is independently responsible for scheduling and appointments.
The Athens City-County Health Department
The Athens City-County Health Department, located 278 W. Union St. (740-592-4431), said that people interested in receiving the vaccine should call the number listed to schedule an appointment. Shots will be administered in partnership with OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital at the new Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine building located 191 W. Union St. in Athens.
“Our vaccination site is very efficient and user friendly. Upon arrival there is a short medical screening check to ensure you are well that day, a quick stop at our registration table to verify your consent form is filled out properly, onto to the actual vaccination station to receive your vaccine and finally a required 15 minute stop for observation,” Pepper said.
“All told, people should expect 25 to 30 minutes from start to finish. The Heritage Hall site offers ample parking, full ADA access, and plenty of space for observation and social distancing; not to mention a staff that has been preparing for mass vaccination events for decades.”
Is there any benefit to getting my shot through the health department as opposed to other providers?
No. Where you get your shot is based solely on preference and availability.
Do I have to be an Athens County resident to get my vaccine through the Athens City-County Health Department?
No, but the Athens City-County Health Department strongly encourages out of county residents to check their local department’s vaccine availability first.
Shrivers Pharmacy and Wellness’ Athens and Nellsonville locations are combining their vaccine allocation and holding clinics each week at the Athens Community Center, located 701 E. State St. The clinics’ location may change in the future, but the first several will be at the community center, Shrivers Co-Owner Ben Holter said.
Patients can register online to get their shot from Shrivers starting each Sunday at 10 a.m. If you’re unable to register, the pharmacy is allowing people to call 740-447-9201 to request assistance with registration. Registration is first come, first serve with no priority waiting list among those who qualify.
Once registered, patients should get a confirmation email with details regarding their appointment. After receiving the first dose, Shrivers will instruct patients to return four weeks later for the second.
Hopewell Health Centers Athens
People looking to schedule an appointment at Hopewell Health Centers Athens, located 90 Hospital Dr. (740-592-3091), can do so by calling the phone number listed and ask for Madison Sprankle, who will help schedule an appointment or place them on the waiting list. Patients can schedule an appointment for their second dose after receiving the first.
Hopewell Health Centers Nelsonville
Those looking to schedule an appointment at Hopewell Health Centers Nelsonville, located 1950 Mt. Saint Marys Dr. (740-797-2352), can do so by calling the phone number listed and select dial tone option 0. Patients can schedule an appointment for their second dose after receiving the first.
Kroger is offering vaccine appointments at locations all across southeast Ohio, including the Athens, Nelsonville and Trimble stores. Outside of Athens County, the New Lexington and Logan stores are also offering shots if you’re willing to make the trip.
Appointments must be made online or by calling the grocery chain’s coronavirus line at 886-211-5320. Kroger will contact patients to notify them when the date for their second dose is approaching, a company spokesperson said.
Fruth Pharmacy, located 8972 United Ln. off State Route 50 in Athens (740-594-3092), is accepting phone calls from residents to be placed on a waitlist and later be contacted for an appointment, a pharmacy employee said. Following the first dose, patients will be given a card with the date to return for their second.