CoronavirusVaccinating Ohio


As demand for COVID-19 vaccine goes down, nonprofits shift efforts

Hundreds of vaccination appointments available for this weekend
Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 18:21:58-04

MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — As of Friday, about 4.3 million Ohioians have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, which amounts to more than 36% of the population. The push continues to get even more people vaccinated as large sites continue to open across our area.

Case Western Reserve University just announced a clinic this Sunday for anyone 16 and up to get the Pfizer vaccine.

Through the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination website, anyone 16 and older can sign up for an appointment to receive first doses of the Pfizer vaccine at MetroHealth Maple Heights Branch of Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center Mass Vaccination Clinic on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17.

During the first day of operation, News 5 noticed dozens of available appointment time slots throughout the day. It’s a trend popping up at vaccination sites across northeast Ohio.

In Erie County, a vaccination clinic had to be moved to a smaller location because of a lack of appointments after 2,300 doses were available to distribute but only 200 people signed up.

Leah Rafferty with Fairhill Partners easily notices the days of long lines and virtual waiting rooms are just about gone when it comes to securing a vaccine.

Just about two weeks ago, News 5 spoke with her and her team at the non-profit, which helps area seniors and was one of several organizations to receive “priority access codes” for vaccine appointment signups.

“It was crazy, my phone was ringing off the hook,” she said. “It slowed down quite a bit.”

Rafferty points to more available vaccines, and the concern over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine made it more difficult to fill all the available slots.

This non-profit is now shifting from helping those who call looking for an appointment to calling those offering to help sign them up for a vaccine.

“Because my phone line has slowed down, I'm trying to figure out how to still reach people,” she said. “I’m going to start reaching out to churches and local government groups.”

In addition to scheduling appointments, the non-profit even offers to set up free door-to-door transportation for those looking for a vaccine.

To reach Fairhill Partners and set up a vaccine appointment, call 216-421-1350 extension 182.

The map below shows vaccination rates over time by county in Ohio: