Ohio Plans Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

Date: December 14, 2020

Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has focused on education, prevention, testing, tracing, and treatment. Key accomplishments include: 

  • Flattening the curve across the state as the pandemic began last spring.
  • Supporting the healthcare response and ensuring adequate PPE and testing supplies.
  • Creating a data infrastructure and emergency levels to help inform decisions and ensure transparency.
  • Dividing the state into three healthcare zones built around the state’s large metro areas of Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. These zones are planning and coordinating patient care.

Ohio’s COVID 19 vaccination planning process

Key strategies include:

  • Collaborating with partners: Ohio created an interagency team to work on vaccine preparedness. Ohio is also coordinating with stakeholders and community partners.
  • Planning in phases: Ohio’s initial vaccine planning efforts are focused on early distribution while supplies are limited. The state is focusing first on the highest risk populations and will work with providers as they establish priorities within their own highest risk populations.
  • Transitioning to high volume vaccination: As supplies increase, we will open vaccination to other at-risk groups who choose to receive it, until all Ohioans are able to receive a vaccine.

Vaccine provider enrollment

  • Provider enrollment is key to a successful vaccination campaign.
  • Ohio has established a network of enrolled providers to administer the vaccine and launched a registration tool at https://ohid.ohio.gov
  • Enrollment is still open.
  • The state of Ohio will provide access to training and support to enrolled providers.
  • Ultracold storage is not a requirement to enroll.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths vs. Facts 

Ohio is planning an orderly system for distributing the vaccine to providers. The process differs for each vaccine. To start, ten hospitals will pre-position the vaccine to start vaccinating critical healthcare workers quickly after FDA approval. CVS and Walgreens will receive direct shipments of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines to administer to long term care residents and staff. Soon after, enrolled providers and local health departments will begin receiving shipments consistent with FDA approval and CDC recommendations.

The state has two clear goals: to save lives and to slow the spread of the virus. As we begin vaccinations, we must continue to follow the recommended prevention techniques and ensure equity and accessibility to all Ohioans. Together, these strategies will help Ohio begin to get back to normal.

Getting through the COVID 19 pandemic will require continued collaboration between the government, vaccine providers, local health departments, and stakeholders, and community partners. We are in this together. All Ohioans are encouraged to stay informed by using the resources available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home  as well as the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Ohio’s Call Center can also answer questions from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, including weekends. Call 1-833-427-5634.

The most trusted voices when it comes to information about COVID 19 are an individual’s personal physician, medical experts, emergency room doctors, and public health officials. School, community, and business leaders can also help point the community to trusted resources.

More details from the Ohio Department of Health.

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