AKRON, Ohio — Health officials and providers in Summit County are gearing up for Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine, which rolls out next week and targets people 80 years and older.
The county is expecting to receive 5,750 doses. An estimated 600 of those doses will be available at a drive-thru clinic at Summit County Public Health. The exact dates haven't been nailed down yet, but Health Commissioner Donna Skoda believes it will take place Jan. 21 and 22.
Skoda is asking seniors to register on the SCPH website for vaccine information which places them on a list for potential shots.
However, Skoda stressed that those who don't use or have access to the internet can call the Summit County Public Health COVID-19 line at 330-926-5795 to be added to the schedule.
"As soon as we know what we have and when the clinic will be available, we'll send you an email or a robocall if you don't have an email," Skoda said.
More than 30 other providers in Summit County will also be administering the vaccine next week including at some Giant Eagle, Marc's, Discount Drug Mart and Acme stores.
AxessPointe, a community health center in Akron, is also on the list.
According to the center's spokesperson, Stephanie Berry, AxessPointe is expected to get 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
With the limited supply, vaccines will be by appointment only. The center prefers people fill out their online form, but also has a dedicated phone number of 330-564-2477 for people wanting to schedule appointments or for other questions.
Matt Reed, senior vice president for Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging, said calls to the office have tripled since Gov. Mike DeWine announced the impending vaccines for people 80 plus.
Direction Home Akron Canton serves Portage, Summit, Stark and Wayne counties.
"We're doing our very best to make sure that everybody who calls and wants the vaccine has the information they need to access it," Reed said.
Reed said the agency is helping older residents in different way depending on the county.
"We can sign the up for on line registries for Portage and Wayne counties. We can give them information, the call-in numbers for Stark County. For Summit County, what we're doing is we're providing the provider information and the telephone numbers," Reed said.
Skoda anticipates that vaccines will be offered to those 75 and older beginning the week of Jan. 25 and and then will drop by five years in subsequent weeks.
She's hopeful the vaccine will be available to the general public by late spring.
"What I really want to emphasize is don't panic. It will be coming if you don't get it right now."