Vaccination plans: Butler County officials formalize steps for the next wave of residents

The rollout of the novel coronavirus vaccine is progressing slow in Butler County, and health officials are asking the public for their patience.

More than 361,600 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ohio to those in Phase 1A or Phase 1B of the vaccination program, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the slow rollout is happening because “we don’t have enough.”

“We hope this is going to increase as we move forward, that will be additional streams (of the vaccine will be) flowing in,” he said during his Thursday afternoon press conference. “We literally have to take this one week at a time.”

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Butler County’s three health commissioners are asking the public to endure this slow period of the vaccination rollout as they work with state, county and local government agencies, healthcare organizations to meet the needs of those who qualify for the first two phases of vaccine distribution.

“We are working as fast as possible to ensure the distribution is fast and equitable,” said Jennifer Bailer, Butler County General Health District health commissioner. “We understand how badly people want it.”

She said anyone who wants to be inoculated will eventually receive it, “but it will take some time as we wait for manufacturers to ramp up their numbers.”

Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the U.S. FDA for emergency use. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. Those taking the Pfizer vaccine will require the second shot 21 days after the first dose. Modern’s follow-up shot is 28 days later. AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is being used overseas, has not received U.S. FDA emergency use authorization.

Phase 1A, which is distributing now, includes, healthcare workers and personnel involved in the care of COVID-19 patients; residents and staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities; patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals; people with developmental disabilities and/or mental health disorders; residents and staff at the state-run Ohio veterans homes; and EMS responders.

Phase 1B is mostly based on age, but over the next few weeks, those 65 and older, K-12 school staff and Ohioans with severe medical conditions can receive the vaccine.

Vaccine distribution for people with severe medical conditions covered in Phase 1B begins Jan. 25.

Butler County General Health District is only gathering information from county residents and those who work in the county. Their survey can be found online at www.bchealth.us. People can call the health district at 513-863-1770, but they should only call and submit the survey only once.

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The county health district is neither pre-registering nor creating any type of waitlist.

The Middletown Health Department will notify the public when each phase begins, but is taking pre-registration at covid.cityofmiddletown.org.

The Hamilton Health Department is scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for the first wave of elderly residents (65 and older) and residents with underlying health conditions. Residents must have an appointment, and day-of registration is not available. More information and registration details can be found at www.hamilton-oh.gov, or people can call 513-785-7080 (do not submit or call more than once).

Primary Health Solutions – Community First Pharmacy and Kroger Pharmacy are other vaccine options, but that will start next week. For more information with Primary Health, visit www.community-first.org/pharmacy to schedule an appointment, or call 513-454-1117 for more information.

People can schedule an appointment with the Kroger Pharmacy by visiting www.kroger.com/rx/guest/get-vaccinated. People can call 1-800-576-4377 for more information.

As of Thursday, more than 807,000 people had been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, and nearly 10,000 Ohioans have died. DeWine said there are three goals that “drive absolutely everything that we do” in order to protect Ohioans from this deadly virus: save lives, get and keep kids in school, and help frontline medical personnel working with COVID-19 patients.

























PRIORITY GROUPS FOR VACCINE

Phase 1A, distributing now:

  • Healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved in the care of COVID-19 patients
  • Residents and staff in nursing homes
  • Residents and staff in assisted living facilities
  • Patients and staff at state psychiatric hospitals
  • People with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities, or centers, and staff at those locations
  • Residents and staff at our two state-run homes for Ohio veterans
  • EMS responders

Phase 1B schedule:

  • Week of Jan. 18: Age 80 and above
  • Week of Jan. 25: Age 75 and above and Ohioans with severe medical conditions.
  • Week of Feb. 1: Age 70 and above and K-12 school staff.
  • Week of Feb. 8: Age 65 and above

Severe medical conditions covered in Phase 1B distribution beginning Jan. 25:

  • cerebral palsy
  • spina bifida
  • congenital heart disease
  • type 1 diabetes
  • inherited metabolic disorders
  • severe neurologic disorders including epilepsy
  • severe genetic disorders including Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Prader Willi Syndrome, Turner Syndrome
  • severe lung disease including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
  • sickle cell anemia
  • alpha- and beta-thalassemia

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