DARKE COUNTY — Darke County healthcare providers announced Thursday they will begin vaccinating those ages 18 and older for COVID-19.
The announcement comes a full week before the state said it would begin vaccinating those in the 18-and-older age range. This past week just saw the age limit drop to those 40 and older.
Wayne HealthCare’s Director of Wellness Jordan Francis said the quick push to vaccinate younger adults has come as a result of a dropoff in vaccination appointments being scheduled.
“We’re just not able to fill the schedule, getting enough folks vaccinated,” said Francis. “Previously, while we had more age restrictions, we had a significant waiting list for the older population.”
Asked why vaccination appointments had dropped off, Francis said many factors may be involved.
“It could be demographics, as we are an older county,” he explained. “Also, many people are concerned about how fast the COVID vaccine came out. And there seem to be some political implications.”
He also said older generations appear to be more accepting of vaccinations in general.
“Older generations lived through an era when vaccinations were seen as a clear and present victory,” said Francis. “A vaccine, like polio, was seen as an incredible feat of scientific research. This is the first time in a long while there has been a significant public health threat addressed with vaccinations.”
“When something new arises that can be prevented or slowed with a vaccine, for some people this is scary territory, new and different,” he added.
At last report, the Ohio Department of Health said approximately 19 percent of Darke County residents have been vaccinated. Statewide, the percentage is 21.35 percent.
Francis encourages those who have not been vaccinated to call and schedule an appointment. Vaccinations are free of charge and currently being hosted by Reid Health at 1101 Jackson Street, Greenville, and also by various pharmacies in Darke County.
To schedule an appointment at Reid, call 937-547-2399 or send an email to [email protected] with your name, date of birth, and phone number.
The vaccine clinics are a community service of Wayne HealthCare, the Darke County General Health District, and Family Health Services of Darke County.