Scioto County leads Ohio in administering COVID-19 vaccines


Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK) – With COVID-19 vaccine doses in short supply across the Buckeye State, local health officials say the heavy demand for vaccination is outpacing the amount of available vaccine.

Scioto County health officias say as phase 1A of the state’s vaccine rollout plan continues, the county is leading the state with the highest percentage of vaccinations administered. They say 4% of Scioto County’s population has been vaccinated.

“Our phones are ringing nonstop with residents who want to get vaccinated. Please remember to use the vaccine hotline and leave a message,” said Portsmouth City Health Department Commissioner Chris Smith. “We are compiling a list of those 80+ who will be the next eligible group for vaccinations, but at this point, we can’t make definite appointments for individuals since we simply do not know when we will have an adequate amount of vaccine.”

Smith says those who wish to receive a vaccine can call the health department at 740-352-7020 as they compile the list for those who will be in the next eligible group to be vaccinated. According to Scioto County Health Commissioner, Dr. Jerod Walker the two health departments are experiencing more demand than available vaccine and are urging residents to be patient.

“Both local health departments are experiencing heavy vaccination demand that is outpacing the amount of vaccine we have available and are receiving,” Walker said. “It is important for those waiting for a vaccination to be patient. If you live in the county or city, please use the vaccine hotline to get your name on the list. We are thrilled about the number of people who want the vaccine, and feel your frustration about the wait. We want to vaccinate everyone who wants it, and we will, as the vaccine doses become available.”

Vaccine efforts at the state and local levels are still focusing on the Ohioans eligible in phase 1A. Health officials say this includes frontline health workers, providers and responders as well as those who work and live in congregate living facilities. Phase 1B, which includes those 65 years or older, those with severe congenital or developmental health issues and school workers, will begin in the coming weeks when more doses of the vaccine are available.

The health departments say a registration form is available online for those who want to be placed on a call-back list for scheduling vaccination appointments.

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