COVID-19 Vaccine Update
By Lisa Larkin, MD, FACP, NCMP, IF
Founder and CEO, Ms.Medicine
Thank you for the continued trust in our practice and to my dedicated team. I can safely say that everyone is happy that we are in a new year and that the COVID-19 vaccine has been released. We understand how important access to the vaccine is for everyone, and have been working hard to obtain the vaccine for the practice.
Thanks to the significant efforts of my team, our practice has been approved by the Ohio Department of Health as a vaccine distributor. Unfortunately, despite our approval, we still do not know if, or when, we will receive any vaccine or how many doses we will receive. What we know is that we will be notified just a few days in advance of receiving the vaccine, and that we are required to roll out the vaccine within 24 hours, which means very little notice to you. We promise to inform you as soon as we receive any clarifying information.
Like the chaos of this year, the vaccine roll out in Ohio and across the nation has not gone as planned. Because we know how important COVID-19 vaccination is to you, and because we do not know when we will be able to offer you vaccination, we have been working hard to remain abreast of availability of vaccine in our local community and the process to schedule.
The CDC has defined a phased approach to COVID-19 vaccine roll out. As of last week, CDC guidance is for any person over 65 be vaccinated. Unfortunately, the Ohio vaccine roll out plan is different and more complicated. It is, however, the plan we must adhere to as a vaccine distribution site.
Starting this week in Ohio, Phase 1B of the roll out has started. Now, individuals who are 80 and older are advised to schedule their vaccine. Over the coming weeks the age criteria will decrease by 5 years per week according to the schedule below:
- The week of January 19 – Ohioans 80 years of age and older.
- The week of January 25 – Ohioans 75 years of age and older; those with severe congenital or developmental disorders.
- The week of February 1 – Ohioans 70 years of age and older; employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
- The week of February 8 – Ohioans 65 years of age and older.
No other phase plans past Phase 1B have yet been released. For the most up-to-date information on the Ohio phased roll out, we suggest you visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
If it is time for you schedule based on your age, we encourage you to schedule. Unfortunately, we know that scheduling vaccination appointments within Cincinnati remains difficult and the process is cumbersome.
As much as Lisa Larkin MD and Associates would like to assist you in scheduling you appointment, in reality you are best served by going online and attempting to schedule yourself. I encourage you to sign up at as many locations as you can, to see when you can get the earliest appointment.
I suggest the following resources:
TriHealth: Call 513.862.6843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercy Health: Call 866.624.0366
We sincerely wish we had vaccine in our office to administer to you. We are doing all we can, but are limited by the State of Ohio process. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Please remember we do have rapid antigen testing, rapid PCR testing, and laboratory testing available for both member and non-member patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. inside our offices. As always, we are taking all appropriate measures to ensure safety for everyone.
Thank you for allowing us to participate in your health care. Here’s hoping that in 2021 we have widespread vaccination and herd immunity. We will be in touch soon with updates as we have them.