Health Dept. explains COVID-19 vaccine availability


Staff report



DARKE COUNTY — Darke County residents have been responding positively to the new COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Dec. 29 press release from the Darke County General Health District.

“We have experienced an increase in phone calls from the general public wanting to know when they can get their vaccine,” stated Emily Hoisington, BSN, nursing director, at the Darke County General Health District. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) began dispersal of the COVID-19 vaccine last week.

Along with the vaccine doses, ODH provided local health departments with guidance as to how the vaccines should be distributed.

“We are currently working in Phase 1A which is providing vaccines to healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, and EMS responders. At this time, the Health Department nursing staff are distributing vaccine to full-time EMS and hospice employees,” stated Terrence L. Holman, DVM, health commissioner.

Phase 1A is expected to continue over the next couple of weeks and then Ohio will transition to Phase 1B. This phase includes those individuals 65 and older, adults who work in a school setting, and those living with severe medical disorders. These disorders include: cerebral palsy, spina bifida, congenital heart disease, type 1 diabetes, inherited metabolic disorders, severe neurological disorders including epilepsy, severe genetic disorders (Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Prader Willi Syndrome, and Turner Syndrome), severe lung disease (cystic fibrosis and severe asthma), sickle cell anemia; and alpha and beta thalassemia.

It is not known at this time how long Phase 1A and 1B will last with the limited vaccine availability. Because vaccine supplies are limited, it may be some time before the general public can begin being vaccinated.

The Health Department will release this information to the public as it becomes available. We appreciate the community response to vaccination. If you choose not to receive a vaccine when it is available to you, please continue to help do your part by wearing a mask and social distancing from others. The Health Department would like to thank the community for all of its cooperation during this pandemic.

If you have general questions about vaccine availability or COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). If you have questions specific to Darke County, please call 937-548-4196 option 5.

Staff report