More Butler County residents become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines as more arrive this week

More coronavirus vaccine doses are coming to the state this week, and more than 900,000 Ohioans will be eligible to receive the vaccine as of Thursday morning.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state will enter Phase 1C and Phase 2 Thursday. Phase 1C allows Ohioans with Type 1 diabetes, women who are pregnant, those living with ALS, and those who received bone marrow transplants to receive the vaccine. Also, law enforcement, corrections officers and those who work in the funeral and childcare services are eligible.

Phase 2 allows anyone 60 years and older to receive the vaccines

These two phases will make 941,000 more Ohioans eligible, the governor said.

“Ninety-three percent of our deaths are those 60 and above,” he said, adding that “two-thirds of our hospitalizations have occurred with those 60 years of age and older.”

Since the start of the pandemic in Ohio last March, 968,874 people have contracted the COVID-19 virus, and 1,452 of those cases were reported to the Ohio Department of Health on Monday. More than 17,300 deaths have also happened in the past 12 months.

Since Dec. 14, nearly 1.69 million Ohioans have started the two-shot vaccine regimen, including 46,866 in Butler County. As of Monday, 912,354 have completed the inoculation process, including 27,571 in Butler County.

With the FDA’s emergency use authorization over the weekend of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine, 448,390 doses from the three-approved vaccine providers. More than 96,000 will come from Johnson and Johnson. Before Saturday’s approval, Pfizer and Moderna were the only FDA-authorized vaccines in the United States.

DeWine also announced there are 1,200-plus locations that will be able to administer the vaccine.

Primary Health Solutions has four of those facilities and hopes to be able to administer the vaccine at all 10 of its locations in southwest Ohio, said Chief Clinical Officer Stephen Roller. The federally qualified health center has been administering the vaccine for nearly a month.

This week is “probably our biggest,” said Roller, as Primary Health will administer more than 900 doses by the week’s end.

“We received those (doses) in Oxford, Hamilton, we’re administering doses in Middletown today, Dayton on Thursday,” said Roller.

Primary Health is also the healthcare partner for Northridge Schools in Dayton and will begin administering the second dose in that district on Friday, he said.

Roller said Primary Health could receive its first allocation of the Johnson and Johnson as soon as next week. The health center serves 36,000 patients, many of whom need extra assistance.

“We provide a broad scope of services, and as a leader in that space, we were one of the first to sign up to be a community COVID-19 vaccine provider,” Roller said. “We want to be at the forefront to make sure our communities we serve are getting access to these vaccines so we can start to move beyond the pandemic.”

Primary Health, which has offices in Butler and Montgomery counties, has administered about 2,000 doses.

Roller said it’s “critical” to get these shots into arms, especially because “transportation is a huge barrier” among the people they serve.

Though they’ll prioritize the people within the communities they serve, Roller said they don’t want vaccines to be wasted, so “if folks meet the age criteria and we have a spot for them, then we will get them scheduled regardless of their location, but obviously, preference is given to the folks in that community.”

Continuing coverage

The Journal-News has used our team of reporters to follow the latest in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in our communities. We’re covering all angles, including this story about the state’s next phase and what that means for a health center like Butler County-based Primary Health Solutions.

About the Author