First Vaccines Administered: This week was an incredibly busy and exciting week in this pandemic response…and just days before Christmas. On Tuesday (Dec. 22), we received our first, albeit small, shipment of COVID-19 vaccine. On Wednesday, Dec. 23, a little over 24 hours from receipt of the vaccine, we administered the first doses to EMTs and paramedics from our local fire departments who chose to be vaccinated and were able to start vaccinating some primary care doctors and nurses with offices in Union County. In total, we vaccinated about 150 people with the initial shipment of COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, we do not have any additional vaccination opportunities until we receive another shipment of vaccine.
Our dedicated partners at Memorial Hospital also started administering initial vaccinations to their hospital staff this week. Most hospitals in Ohio are receiving vaccine shipments to administer to their healthcare workers, many of whom have been caring for COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic. Local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are slated to receive vaccine directly through the federal pharmacy partnership for residents and staff who want to receive vaccination.
Additional Vaccinations Continuing Next Week: We anticipate receiving another shipment of vaccine next week. We do not yet know when or how much vaccine we will receive. We are currently working through when we can offer vaccine and what sub groups in Ohio’s 1a Phase we will be able to focus on with the next shipment (pending vaccine quantity and date of arrival). At this time, we are not able to vaccinate individuals who do not fit within the Ohio Phase 1a group. Please sign up for our COVID-19 email updates at www.unioncountycovid.org. for the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Union County, Ohio.
Thank You Volunteers: Our first vaccination clinic went well in large part to the incredible support we received from local medical and non-medical volunteers from the Union County Medical Reserve Corp and the Union County Emergency Management Agency. We had roughly 13 volunteers on site. Licensed medical volunteers vaccinated our local EMS personnel and drew up vaccine from the vials. Non-medical volunteers scribed for vaccinators, did data entry. and traffic control. We even had several EMS personnel who are assisting at the vaccination clinics when not responding to people in need. Wednesday’s clinic, as has been the case throughout the entire pandemic response, was truly a community effort we are honored to lead. We can’t say it enough – THANK YOU! to all those who are volunteering for our community.
Governor Announces PHase 1b: While we continue to currently be vaccinating groups within Ohio’s Phase 1a priority group, Governor DeWine announced on Wednesday (Dec. 23) a plan for who would be included in Ohio’s Phase1b. In the next phase, vaccines will be available to those who choose to receive them who are 65 years or older or those living with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additionally, adults working in Ohio’s schools will have the option to receive the vaccine. This is intended to assist schools in returning to in-person learning. Governor DeWine stated the goals of Phase 1b vaccine distribution are to save lives and for schools to be fully open by March 1. Additional details about Phase 1b, including timeframe have not yet been released and will be forthcoming from the state.
Please Celebrate Small: Tomorrow is Christmas. We wish all a joyful day filled with the spirit of the season. We know many residents are continuing to take precautions to help our hospital workers and our community. We thank each of you. These personal sacrifices and adjustments from your normal holiday celebration is playing a large part in preventing surges in hospitalizations post holidays – we saw this after Thanksgiving and we will be incredibly grateful for your help in preventing this after Christmas and the final winter holidays. Please continue to celebrate small. Wear your masks – even when among your friends and extended family. If you do get together, try to keep it to only a couple of households, spread out, crack windows to improve ventilation, and consider staggering your meal so you can keep distancing. Avoid gathering in small areas of the home. If we are blessed with a white Christmas, move some of the fun outside whenever possible. As many of our staff have young children and famIlies we long to see and hug, we know it’s been very hard, but lets stay vigilant together as we see some light at the end of this pandemic.