CLEVELAND — Monday, March 29 marks the first day millions of Ohioans became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as anyone 16 years old and older can sign up.
Watch News 5 at 6 p.m. for more from reporter Clay LePard.
While just about anyone can obtain a vaccine, scheduling an appointment remains difficult for many.
Nonprofits and places such as the Cleveland Public Library now hope to help those struggling to navigate Ohio’s online scheduling portal.
Beginning Monday, any branch of the Cleveland Public Library will offer “access codes” for those looking to reserve vaccination appointments at the Wolstein Center.
Access codes, in essence, offer more appointments available than what’s offered to the general public.
“It really makes it easier,” Michael Young, marketing manager for the Cleveland Public Library, said. “The code helps you get into that first available slot at the Wolstein Center.”
Access codes can be obtained in-person at any library branch or by calling any branch.
To check out a full list of branch locations and their phone numbers, click here.
Those library locations also offer resources for those impacted by the pandemic, including free RTA passes for those traveling to a vaccination site and at-home COVID-19 test kits.
For the past two weeks, Fairhill Partners, a nonprofit which helps area seniors, has also utilized access codes to help sign up individuals struggling to obtain an appointment.
“We have the access codes and we can sign them up immediately,” Leah Rafferty with Fairhill Partners said.
Rafferty told News 5 they predominantly help those in Cuyahoga County, but can help schedule appointments for anyone in Northeast Ohio and even offer help set up free transportation as well.
“There are people still in their 80’s who are not able to get a vaccine due to transportation,” she said. “We find the population that has some barriers and we’re trying to help them override it.”
Rafferty explained how many who reach out are unable to schedule an appointment at the Wolstein Center since the online portal requires a valid email address.
“A lot of people we work with do not have an email address, so there’s another barrier,” she said.
To reach Fairhill Partners and set up a vaccine appointment, call 216-421-1350 extension 182.
State health officials announced Friday that there isn't much time left to schedule your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Wolstein Center before the facility switches over to only administering second doses next month.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, first doses of the vaccine will be distributed through April 5. Second doses of the vaccine will be distributed from April 6 to 26.
After that, a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed from April 27 to May 10.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 28% percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
For those who are 16 and 17 years old, they can only receive Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, since Moderna's and Johnson and Johnson's vaccines are approved for only people ages 18 and older.
You can schedule appointments at the Wolstein Center by CLICKING HERE.
Once you visit the website, type "2000 PROSPECT AVE E CLEVELAND OH 44115" into the search bar to bring up the facility and schedule an appointment. If the Wolstein Center isn't listed, you may have to refresh the site. It only appears when appointments are available.
The appointments are available for anyone age 16 and up.