Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 80 and older at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and all 118 doses were administered in 24 hours, with the last appointment of the day taking place just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“It was an emotionally wonderful day!” said Leigh Cannon, FCPH deputy health commissioner. “We have been waiting for the day to come where we could start vaccinating our community and that day did not disappoint. Thank you to those who came out and trusted us to provide you with your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Also, a big shout out to our fabulous staff who never ceases to amaze me. In a world of uncertainty and constant changes, they once again came out on top and conducted an extremely successful clinic. This was very important to all of us and we appreciate the community’s patience as we continue to navigate through muddy waters to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
Cannon expressed gratitude to the volunteers that assisted (from the Medical Reserve Corps, Fayette County EMA and Jeffersonville EMA) as well as the Fayette County Agricultural Society for the vaccination site.
Fayette County was scheduled to receive 400 doses of vaccine for the week of Jan. 18. One hundred doses were to be delivered to each of the four local vaccination providers, FCPH, Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH), HealthSource of Ohio and Kroger. FCPH was able to provide 18 more vaccines than initially expected due to the fact that Pfizer vials are labeled as five doses but several contained a full extra dose.
“We have a system in place to call and notify the next individuals on our registration list so that no vaccine is wasted,” said Megan Batson, emergency preparedness coordinator. “The plan worked as expected, and we were able to call on those individuals to come and receive their vaccine yesterday,” adding that “many of them shared that they were very happy to get the call.”
Another 400 vaccines are expected to be delivered to the county next week. Governor Mike DeWine has stated that he expects vaccinations to start within 24 hours of receipt of the vaccine and to be completed within seven days of each shipment.
For the week of Jan. 25, FCPH will schedule individuals who are 80 and above who have pre-registered with the health department and will then schedule those who are 75 and above, based on available vaccines.
“We can only schedule as many appointments as we have available doses,” said Batson.
FCPH will also begin scheduling the second dose for Phase 1a eligible individuals.
“If you were vaccinated at the health department for phase 1a, please watch your email. We will be reaching out to you to schedule,” she added.
“Supply is still very limited at this time,” said Cannon. “The number of people who have pre-registered exceeds our current weekly allotment. We ask that you please have patience as all of the providers in the county work to vaccinate everyone in the community who chooses to be vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Local COVID-19 vaccine provider details:
Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) – Pre-register with a link available on faycohd.org, or call 740-335-5910. The public is encouraged to use the online pre-registration when possible, to keep the phone lines free for people who are unable to register online, and also for people who are scheduling for other health department services. Anyone 65 and older may pre-register with FCPH, but only age-eligible individuals will be contacted for appointments, on a first come, first served basis.
Fayette County Memorial Hospital – FCMH is continuing to vaccinate those 80 years and up at its Jan. 27 and 28 clinics. The public will be notified when appointments for those 75 and older will be accepted. Vaccine clinics at FCMH are held weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays form 1 pm-4 pm. Call 740-333-2743. Online, visit: https://www.fcmh.org/covid-19/
HealthSource of Ohio – Call (740) 335-8490. Online, visit: healthsourceofohio.org
Kroger – Call 866-211-5320. Online, visit kroger.com/rx/guest/get-vaccinated
The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 and to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch the virus that causes the disease. Vaccinating a significant portion of Ohioans will help prevent serious hospitalizations and deaths and allow us to more quickly return to normal, according to FCPH. Using all the tools available to help prevent the spread of the virus continues to be critical until a substantial number of Ohioans can be vaccinated.
Continuing to wear masks and social distance will reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Proper prevention measures coupled with the vaccine will provide the best protection from COVID-19.
More information about the vaccine and other providers in Ohio is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.