Jan 14, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

A nurse in a gray fleece with the HCDDS logo on it, pulls a COVID-19 vaccine dose from the vial.

As COVID-19 vaccines begin to roll out across Ohio, many of the people we support and staff at our provider partners are eligible in the initial phases of distribution. We know you may have questions about the process. Hamilton County DD Services is working continuously with state officials and local health departments to support their vaccination efforts and to share information with our stakeholders about this process.

As you know, this is part of an unprecedented nationwide effort to vaccinate our entire population. The specific details are changing quickly and frequently, so we want to share what we know about vaccine distribution at this point.

Ohio is currently in Phase 1A, which includes frontline healthcare workers, paramedics, and people who live or work in congregate living settings. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) defines "congregate living settings" as any location where two or more people with a developmental disability live together.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has said Phase 1B is likely to begin the week of Jan. 18 when people 80 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine. The week of Jan. 25, those 75 years of age and older will be eligible, as well as "people with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders that make them particularly vulnerable."

DODD has created a list of people we serve who qualify under Phase 1B. You can find out more about the Ohio Department of Health's criteria for Phase 1B here. HCDDS staff will be reaching out to those on DODD's list for Phase 1B to find out if they've received a vaccination. If you plan to get the vaccine and are offered the opportunity through your healthcare provider, employer, pharmacy, or your local health department, you do not need to wait to hear from HCDDS.

If you're 65 years of age or older, contact the Ohio Department of Aging to find out more about vaccination by visiting aging.ohio.gov or calling 1-866-243-5678.

Local health departments are leading the effort to distribute vaccines.

We're working closely with the local health departments to support their vaccination efforts, and it's important to remember that in these early phases of distribution, the vaccine supply is very limited and more people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than the number of available doses.

Starting the week of Jan. 18, Hamilton County DD Services will operate a clinic, in collaboration with Hamilton County Public Health, to vaccinate a very limited number of people. To begin, we will only be inoculating those in Phase 1, and we are reaching out to those who are eligible at this time.

Under guidance set by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration, vaccines are only being administered to those eligible in Phases 1A and 1B at this time. Although Phase 1A has not been fully completed, state officials determined that simultaneously extending eligibility to Phase 1B will allow for faster vaccination and ultimately save the lives of those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

We'll keep you updated as we continue to learn more about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and our supporting role in this complex process.

Please continue to do your part to reduce the pandemic's spread by wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and following guidelines from our health officials.

If you have a question about Hamilton County DD Services' plan for COVID-19 vaccinations, please email COVIDQuestions@hamiltondds.org.

Resources to learn more about COVID-19 and the vaccine

To see answers to some of the questions we've received, you can click here to visit our FAQ page.

The Ohio Department of Health has a list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, which you can find here. They also list myths and facts about the vaccine.

DODD also created a guide to help people with DD understand Ohio's COVID-19 vaccination program. It uses pictures and plain language. You can find a copy of the guide here.

The UC UCEDD's Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities also published a social story about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find a copy here.

Dr. Laura Sorg, Ohio DODD Medical Director, gets her COVID-19 vaccine in the video here. She talks about why the vaccine is important and how it can protect you and your family from getting sick.

For more information about COVID-19, Ohio's vaccination program, and other resources, visit the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities websites.

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