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Vaccination Phase 1B to begin in Lawrence County

Several agencies join to vaccinate elderly

As part of Ohio’s second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program, the Lawrence County Health Department is taking names of elderly residents who want the vaccine.

Starting Tuesday, the health department is partnering with the Lawrence County EMA, the Lawrence County Commissioners, the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO’s Family Medical Centers, Lawrence County Board of DD and superintendents of all Lawrence County school districts to vaccinate residents as quickly as possible in Phase 1B.

They will start by offering the COVID-19 vaccine for people 80 years or older, since it will take a number of weeks to distribute all of the vaccine, given the limited doses available.

“During Phase 1B, the age of eligibility will decrease by five years each week until everyone 65 years old or older are eligible for vaccination. This will allow priority vaccination of those most susceptible to severe complications or death from contracting and developing COVID-19,” the health department said in a news release. “Vaccine supplies are limited, and all eligible residents wanting to receive a vaccine are required to register to be placed on a waiting list. A representative from the Lawrence County Health Department will contact individuals on the waiting list to inform them of their scheduled time to receive their vaccine.”

On Jan. 25, people who are 75 years and older can start getting the vaccine along with people who have congenital and developmental disorders. On Feb. 1, it begins for people 70 and older. On Feb. 8, people 65 and older can get the vaccine.

People have multiple options to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.

The first option is that Lawrence County residents can fill out an online form to be placed on the waiting list. Residents can find the online form at Lawcohd.org, Lawrencecounty.org or the Lawrence County Health Department Facebook page.

The second option is to call the health department’s vaccine hotline at 740-302-5124 or 740-302- 5689, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The third option is for people to email their name and phone number to covidvaccine@lawcohd.org. A Lawrence County Health Department representative will contact them for more information to add them to the waiting list.

Phase 1B will specifically include those below who choose to be vaccinated: • Ohioans, age 65 and up.
• Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental or early onset medical disorders that make them particularly vulnerable. This includes cerebral palsy; spina bifida; congenital heart disease; type 1 diabetes; inherited metabolic disorders; severe neurological disorders, including epilepsy; severe genetic disorders, including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and Turner syndrome; severe lung disease, including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma; sickle cell anemia; and alpha and beta thalassemia.
• Adults/employees in all schools that want to go back, or to remain, educating in person.
Currently, in Phase 1A, the health department has done 726 vaccinations for EMS responders, health care workers who encounter people who care for people who may have COVID-19, residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, people with developmental disabilities or mental health disorders and those who live in group homes, residential facilities and veteran’s homes.
According to the Associated Press, Gov. Mike DeWine said Ohio still has a limited supply of vaccines but eventually wants to vaccinate anyone who wants the shots.

“We’re not there yet. We don’t have the supplies yet. We have to take this literally one week at a time,” DeWine said.

The state’s top priorities continue to be using the vaccine to save lives by making older adults a priority, allow children to go back to school and help front-line medical workers. DeWine said people 65 and older account for nearly nine of every 10 coronavirus deaths in Ohio.

On Friday, Ohio added an online vaccine site locater at coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home.

As of Thursday, there have been 4,397 cases of COVID-19 since March 25, 2020. The population of Lawrence County was 59,463 in 2019, according to U.S. Census data.

So far, 48 Lawrence Countians have died of COVID-19, including 25 women and 23 men, ages 52-98.

There have been 307 people hospitalized with COVID-19 since April 2020.

9,990 Ohioans have died of COVID-19 while 807,293 have been diagnosed with COVID-19.