Scioto County leads the buckeye state in percentage vaccinated

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

SCIOTO COUNTY, OH (WOWK) — Like in much of the country, the vaccination process is ramping up in Scioto County, Ohio.

“We’ve actually been going at this for a little over a month now, and you know the rollout, we hit the ground running.” 

Larry Mullins, director, Scioto County Emergency Management

They’ve got people administering shots all across the county to try to vaccinate as many people in the first phase as possible.

“They’re like an army of ants, they’re just spread out,” Mullins says.

County Emergency Management Director Larry Mullins says there’s one thing slowing their effort:

“The only thing that’s holding us back is they keep cutting the allocation of our vaccine.” 

Larry Mullins, director, Scioto County Emergency Management

Mullins says, in the beginning, the city and county health departments received 500 doses of the vaccine each.

A week later, it was down to only 100 doses.

Still, the county is doing remarkably well given the situation.

“We’ve vaccinated 3,217 people here in Scioto County, and that’s 4.27 percent of our population.” 

Larry Mullins, director, Scioto County Emergency Management

Officials credit the quick dispersal of the vaccine in the county to inter-agency cooperation.

“Everybody understands what their place and their role is… and everybody just sees what needs to be done and works together to get it done.” 

Chief Bill Raison, Portsmouth Fire Department

Some residents were surprised by how well the county has been doing with its limited supply.

“When I think Scioto County, I mean I’ve lived here my whole life, I don’t think of it as the biggest. I think more like Columbus, and Cincinnati and all those places as being bigger, a more high priority.” 

Owen Fitch, Scioto County Resident

Some were less surprised, given ongoing efforts.

“I think they’re doing the best they can trying to get the word out.” 

Scott Oppy, Scioto County Resident

However, officials agree demand is sky high and they are hoping supply can keep up with it.

“You know, initially people were hesitant, but we’ve had to purchase a special phone, dedicated line, hire someone, and even with three people helping them we can’t keep up.” 

Belinda Leslie, interim administrator, Portsmouth City Health Department

The interim administrator for the Portsmouth City Health Department says they are beginning to schedule appointments Wednesday for the next phase of vaccinations—those 80 and older—to get vaccinated beginning next Tuesday, January 19, provided they have enough vaccine doses.

For information on how to register, visit this website.

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