Local health department does not have enough doses to begin vaccinations of 65+ age group

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CHARDON, Ohio (WJW) — Geauga Public Health is currently asking residents not to call and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine due to limited supply and high demand.

People above the age of 65 now qualify for a shot in Ohio, but Geauga County Health Commissioner Thomas Quade said they simply do not have enough doses to start vaccinations for that age group this week.

“No…all of our available doses and anticipated doses are actually scheduled for appointments for most of the month,” said Quade.

“The challenge is that each week, while it seems we’re adding thousands, if not tens of thousands of people to the eligible list, we’re only getting right now about 100 to 200 of the Moderna vaccine each week,” he said.

The focus is to vaccinate school staff members and those receiving their second scheduled dose of the vaccine.

Supply is also a challenge for larger county health departments, including Summit County Public Health who receives between 500 to 600 doses per week even though 80,000 people have registered for a vaccine so far.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Ohio ranks fifth nationwide in terms of getting shots into the arms of people in long-term care.

As more age eligibility groups open and the vaccine continues to remain out of reach for those who qualify for a shotpatience among the general public waiting on their vaccinations to resume some sense of normal is growing thin.

“Ohio is seventh in terms of doses administered and seventh in terms of people who have received at least one dose,” said Daniel Tierney, Press Secretary for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Ohio is right where it should be in terms of administering vaccine.”

Geauga Public Health said they are focusing their limited supply on school staff and people getting their second dose of the vaccine. Additional shipments of vaccine later this month could change the current situation and make additional vaccinations possible. 

Quade said in the past they have vaccinated nearly 400 people in one day, but in order for that to continue supply has to keep up.

“I think more could be done to hit the pause button on making people eligible or reminding folks that when they’re told they’re eligible it does not mean that they’re going to get access to the vaccine right now because there just isn’t enough,” said Quade.

Geauga Public Health will continue to keep the public updated through a newly launched weekly video update.

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