This week, Ohio residents 75 and older and those with developmental or intellectual disabilities coupled with severe congenital, developmental or early-onset medical disorders are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Given the limited supply of vaccines, Ohio is using a phased approach to determine who gets vaccinated at this early stage. Local health departments and other vaccine providers are required to follow this guidance.
The public vaccination effort started in December with Phase 1A, which included frontline health care workers and long-term care residents and staff. It ramped up last week when the first group of people in Phase 1B — residents 80 and older — were eligible to get the shot.
But it remains difficult to get a vaccine, as demand far outpaces supply, and vaccine availability and appointments remain extremely limited.
There isn’t a centralized system to register to get vaccinated. Instead, each provider has a separate process. The onus has been placed on people to contact the locations directly to schedule appointments.
The state said vaccine providers aren’t expected to vaccinate everyone in each age group in one week. As new age groups start getting vaccines, previous age groups will continue receiving the vaccine.
Statewide, there are about 2.2 million people in Phase 1B, including about 334,000 K-12 teachers and staff, and roughly 1 million people in Phase 1A, according to the state.
What conditions qualify to get the COVID-19 vaccine this week?
According to the state, people must have a developmental or intellectual disability and one of the following conditions: cerebral palsy; spina bifida; severe congenital heart disease requiring hospitalization within the past year; severe type 1 diabetes requiring hospitalization within the past year; inherited metabolic disorders, including phenylketonuria; severe neurological disorders, including epilepsy, hydrocephaly and microcephaly; severe genetic disorders, including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome and muscular dystrophy; severe lung disease, including asthma requiring hospitalization within the past year and cystic fibrosis; sickle cell anemia; alpha and beta thalassemia; and solid organ transplants.
Local developmental disabilities advocates will contact those in this group to arrange vaccination.
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Where can I find out about vaccine availability?
A statewide list of vaccine providers is available at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov, searchable by ZIP code or county. The list isn’t updated in real time, so people should check with the providers for up-to-date vaccine availability.
Those without internet access should contact the Summit County Public Health COVID-19 Call Line at 330-926-5795.
Older adults with questions on the vaccination process should contact the Area Agencies on Aging at 866-243-5678 (or online at aging.ohio.gov, for those with internet access).
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine next?
Next week (the week of Feb. 1), people age 70 and older and employees of K-12 schools who want to remain or return to in-person or hybrid learning will be eligible. People age 65 and older will be eligible the week of Feb. 8.
How many people have been vaccinated against COVID-19?
As of Monday afternoon, 626,867 people in Ohio had received the first dose of the two-shot regimen, or 5.36% of the state population, including 29,132 in Summit County, or 5.38% of the county population.
Where can I get a vaccine in Summit County?
Here is the list of current Summit County vaccine provider locations:
• 3979 Medina Road, Akron, 330-666-3300
• 3235 Manchester Road, Akron, 330-644-0350
Those seeking a vaccine through Acme should visit acmestores.com and create or update their accounts to get communication about vaccine availability.
Only two Acme pharmacies are currently offering the vaccine, but all Acme pharmacies are ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine when supplies allow.
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• 1400 S. Arlington St., Suite 38, Akron, 888-975-9188 or 330-564-2477
Appointments are required, and supply is limited. AxessPointe plans to keep a list of people interested in getting a vaccine and call them once their phase is reached.
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• Akron General Health and Wellness Center Bath, 4125 Medina Road, 216-444-2538
The Cleveland Clinic is contacting its most vulnerable patients 75 and older via phone calls or through its MyChart electronic medical records to schedule their vaccination appointments. The Clinic asked people not to contact it directly to try to schedule a vaccine appointment.
The Cleveland Clinic is encouraging patients to enroll in MyChart, which will be the primary method of contacting patients once they are eligible to receive the vaccine. To sign up for MyChart, visit clevelandclinic.org/mychart.
Discount Drug Mart
• 4044 Fishcreek Road, Stow, 330-688-6140
• 655 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-923-8332
• 5863 Darrow Road, Hudson, 330-342-5500
• 711 Canton Road, Akron, 330-794-1181
• 3100 Glenwood Blvd., Suite 294, Twinsburg, 330-405-6650
Those interested in registering can visit discount-drugmart.com/covid or call the Discount Drug Mart COVID-19 Vaccine Information phone line at 1-844-625-0843, but demand is high. Those who register should receive regular communication from Discount Drug Mart on the details of the process.
As of last week, more than 100,000 people had already registered for their vaccine at Discount Drug Mart, which has 76 pharmacies throughout Ohio, as part of Phase 1B.
Giant Eagle Pharmacy
• 1700 Corporate Woods Parkway, Green, 330-896-9787
• 2687 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-928-8844
• 230 Howe Road, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-929-6372
• 41 Fifth St. SE, Barberton, 330-861-0849
• 3750 W. Market St., Fairlawn, 330-668-6605
• 2775 W. Market St., Fairlawn, 330-836-2036
• 484 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, 330-773-7772
• 2801 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, 330-628-6067
• 4300 Kent Road, Stow, 330-686-9121
• 1700 Norton Road, Stow, 330-650-4093
• 290 E. Aurora Road, Northfield, 330-468-3263
• 205 West Ave., Tallmadge, 330-634-0688
• 8960 Darrow Road, Twinsburg, 330-405-7105
Giant Eagle’s online vaccine appointment scheduling tool is at gianteagle.com/covid. As of Monday afternoon, the estimated wait time to access the site was more than an hour. More appointments will be loaded onto the site as individual pharmacies receive additional vaccine shipments.
Those without internet access can contact their local Giant Eagle pharmacy to ask about appointment availability, but the company stressed that initial appointments are expected to fill quickly and asked for patience.
If a patient doesn’t meet the eligibility requirements set by the state, Giant Eagle won’t administer a vaccine, regardless of whether an appointment is scheduled.
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• 470 Howe Ave., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-928-8611
• 2753 W. Market St., Fairlawn, 330-869-0426
• 550 W. Aurora Road, Sagamore Hills, 330-468-4868
• 2891 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, 330-628-0781
• 3732 Darrow Road, Stow, 330-686-5285
• 360 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, 330-773-5554
Marc’s did not return messages seeking comment about its vaccination process.
• Akron Campus, 141 N. Forge St., Akron, 234-867-7110
• Barberton Campus, 155 Fifth St. NE, Barberton, 234-867-7110
Summa Health will no longer make public COVID-19 vaccination appointments by phone. Summa patients who have a MyChart account and are eligible to receive the vaccine can make an appointment through MyChart on a first-come, first-served basis.
Summa patients 75 and older can now go to MyChart and schedule an appointment if any are available; a waiting list is not being offered. Appointments are only available for Summa patients.
Vaccinations will be given at the Akron and Barberton campuses this week.
More information is available at summahealth.org/coronavirus/vaccine. To sign up for a MyChart account, visit summahealth.org/mychart.
Summit County Public Health
• 1867 W. Market St., Akron, 330-926-5795 or 330-923-4891
The health department hosted limited drive-through vaccine clinics last week.
Summit County Public Health established a sign up to receive information only on getting a COVID-19 vaccine at tinyurl.com/SCPHvaccine.
When appointments are available, the department will send an email through the registry to notify people who are eligible. It will have a self-registration link to schedule the appointment on a first-come, first-served basis.
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VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System
Veterans 75 and older and enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Northeast Ohio Healthcare System (receiving care at Cleveland VA Medical Center or Akron, Canton, East Liverpool, Lake County, Lorain County, Mansfield, New Philadelphia, Parma, Ravenna, Sandusky, Warren or Youngstown VA clinics) are eligible to receive the vaccine through the system.
These veterans can call the VA vaccine scheduling line at 216-707-7660 to make an appointment. Veterans will be scheduled for their first and second doses during the initial call. A high call volume and longer-than-usual wait times should be expected. The line will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but a voicemail can be left if calling during off hours.
Veterans who are 75 and older but not enrolled in VA health care can contact the system to discuss their eligibility at 216-707-7914 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Western Reserve Hospital
• 1900 23rd St., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-971-7977
Western Reserve Hospital established a COVID-19 vaccination appointment line at 330-971-7977 for those seeking a vaccine. The hospital closed the phone last week after all appointments were filled and was expected to reopen the appointment line once it receives notification of the next shipment.
Beginning Jan. 27, the hospital will also offer an online COVID-19 vaccine registration process at westernreservehospital.org.
There are no University Hospitals vaccination sites in Summit County; currently, the only UH site for vaccines is the UH Management Services Center, 3605 Warrensville Center Road, Shaker Heights.
Those in Phase 1B can pre-register online to schedule a vaccination. You don’t have to be a prior UH patient to register to receive a vaccine with UH.
When appointment times become available, UH will contact the person via text or email, providing a phone number for the patient to call to speak with a scheduler.
Staff writer Betty Lin-Fisher contributed to this report. Contact Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @EmilyMills818.