Local health departments prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, already struggling keeping up with demand

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 8:37 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 08:37:44-05

CLEVELAND — People in phase 1A continue to get the COVID-19 vaccine and some are gearing up for their second dose.

Meanwhile, those next in line in the phase 1B group are wondering how and when they can get theirs.

Phase 1B includes those who are 65 and older and K through 12 school staff. During a press conference, Governor DeWine described them as, “the people in this state who have the most risk of death if they get the COVID.”

Starting on Jan. 19, those seniors and school staff will be begin getting vaccinated. However, DeWine says the state is distributing the vaccine to seniors in stages. Only those ages 80 an up will be able to get the vaccine during the week of the 19. On Jan. 25, those 75 and older will be able to get vaccinated. The following week will include those 70 and up. Finally, starting on Feb. 8, folks 65 and up will get their doses.

However, DeWine said there’s only about 100,000 doses available for all of them statewide even though there’s up 50,000 people included in group 1B. Given the limited supply of vaccine doses, we’re already seeing health departments here in Northeast Ohio become overwhelmed trying to keep up with demand.

Medina county's health department announced it’s completely booked with vaccine appointments and it’s waiting list is full as well. Officials have yet to announce when more appointments will be made available.

It's the same story in Huron County. Sign-ups for the vaccine we're supposed to be open until Tuesday, but a spokesperson at the health department tells us they were overwhelmed with sign-ups Monday and no more spots are available.

Meanwhile, Lake County is urging eligible seniors to sign up for notifications on when the vaccine become available. They are instructing teachers who want to get the vaccine to coordinate with their school.

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine outlines dates for Phase 1B of vaccination rollout