More people eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines this week, but many slots already booked

Credit: Jordan Laird

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Here’s some tips for how you can get the shot if you’re eligible under Phase 1B.

Credit: Jordan Laird

The age limit to get a COVID-19 vaccine lowered to 65 today, but many people will have to wait because clinic appointments remain full with other older adults.

It will be “several weeks” before the eligibility expands again to accommodate the larger 65 and older group, Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday. This will give clinics some time to start to catch up on those already eagerly seeking to be immunized.

If you’re eligible to get a vaccine, no central system exists at this point for registering at the different clinics, pharmacies and public health departments providing the shots. However, the state has a map where you can search to find which of the more than 700 vaccine providers in Ohio are located near you:

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As of Friday, about 8.3% of Ohioans had received at least one dose of a vaccine, including 39,481 vaccines started within the past 24 hours. A least 53% of those 80 and older have received at least one dose, which is the age group most at risk for severe disease or death from the respiratory virus.

More than 131,300 people in the nine-county region surrounding Dayton have received at least one dose.

While awaiting a turn for a vaccine, health officials have urged that people continue to take precautions such as wearing masks, keeping distance, ventilating spaces, staying home if sick and practicing good hand hygiene.

Hospitalization numbers are steadily getting better but remain high. As of Friday, there were 178 inpatients at hospitals in the region with COVID-19, which is about 1 in 11 total inpatients. That’s down 63% from 60 days ago when 1 in 4 inpatients were COVID-19 positive.

If Ohio continues to stay under 2,500 hospitalizations for seven consecutive days, the state’s curfew could be lifted as early as next Thursday. Currently, the curfew is from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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