LIMA — The next phase of vaccine distribution will begin Jan. 19 with Ohioans who are at least 80 years old, gradually expanding over the next four weeks to include Ohioans 65 years or older, Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental or early onset medical disorders and adults who work in schools that resume in-person or hybrid instruction by March 1.
Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday unveiled the tiered approach to Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, which will be restricted to the oldest and most vulnerable Ohioans in the first week due to the scarcity of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
More than 2.2 million Ohioans will be eligible for the vaccine during Phase 1B, but only 100,000 additional doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive by the first week 1B rolls out.
Vaccines will be distributed to a variety of physicians’ offices, health departments, home health providers, hospitals and pharmacies that registered to participate in the distribution effort in all 88 counties, which will offer a variety of walk-in, drive-thru and appointment-only vaccine clinics.
A full list of agencies that will be administering vaccines will be made public starting next week and will gradually expand as more providers are approved, DeWine said on Thursday.
An online vaccine locator is also expected to go live by next week, DeWine said, allowing Ohioans eligible for 1B vaccinations to find a provider in their county.
Eligibility in 1B will expand each week, allowing a larger share of Ohioans who choose to take the vaccine to have access as more doses arrive.
By Jan. 25, DeWine expects Ohioans who are 75 years or older or who have congenital medical conditions will be eligible for the vaccine.
By Feb. 1, eligibility will open to Ohioans who are 70 years or older and adults who work in schools that agree to resume in-person or hybrid instruction by March 1.
And by Feb. 8, DeWine said he hopes Ohioans 65 years and older will be able to receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
Phase 1A, which prioritized health-care workers, EMS providers and staff and residents in long-term care facilities or congregate care homes, will continue after 1B begins. Health care workers and others eligible for 1A who choose not to participate will have to wait their turn for another opportunity, which may take weeks or even months for younger and healthy frontline workers. But the extra supply of unused vaccines from 1A could free up additional doses for 1B participants, many of whom are at higher risk for severe COVID-19.