GALLIA COUNTY — As stated by Governor Mike DeWine in his Tuesday press conference, Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) throughout the state of Ohio have been designated as a key partner to take calls and supply information and education surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination, specifically to Phase 1B.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) covers 10 core counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
“How and where to get vaccinated will vary depending on where you live and the AAA7 is available to help the community with information specific to your county and community,” a news release from AAA7 stated. “The 12 Area Agencies on Aging in the state of Ohio have a 50-year history of providing information and coordinating services for older Ohioans and their families. Locally, the AAA7 can help answer questions surrounding the vaccine such as safety and what providers are distributing the vaccine. The priority is making sure the community has the best information available to make a decision regarding the vaccine and to know where the vaccine will be available in the district.”
The goals of Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the State of Ohio are to save lives and to have K-12 students back in school full time by March 1, according to the news release. This phase, which is estimated to begin in mid-January, specifically includes the following groups who choose to take a vaccine:
Ohioans age 65 and older;
People with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders that make them particularly vulnerable;
Employees in all K-12 schools that want to go back, or to remain, educating in person.
The following plan was announced by the Governor:
Week of Jan. 18: Vaccine providers will begin receiving their first allotment of vaccines for those ages 80 and older. Vaccines will be delivered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.
Week of Jan. 25: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up following the same process outlined above. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders. Additional information on how these individuals can choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.
Week of Feb. 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above.
Week of Feb. 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above.
The news release continued:
As supply increases, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated.
The vaccine has been shown to decrease the severity of illness in people who catch this virus. Having a significant portion of Ohioans vaccinated will help us prevent serious hospitalizations and death.
Using all the tools available to help prevent the spread of the virus continues to be critical until a substantial number of Ohioans can be vaccinated. Continuing to wear masks and social distancing will reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Proper prevention measures, coupled with the vaccine, will provide the best protection from COVID-19.
For more information about the vaccine and/or vaccine providers in your area, please call the Area Agency on Aging District 7 at 1-800-582-7277 and ask for the Resource Center or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AAA7’s website also has a page designated to the COVID-19 vaccine. Included will be county-specific information, FAQs, and a handout on “Myths vs. Facts” Log on to www.aaa7.org and look for the “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” informational box on the Home Page.
(Editor’s note: As reported this week by the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, the Gallia County Health Department is currently scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for residents in the following age groups and categories: 80 years and older, 75-plus and those with severe congenital conditions, 70-plus, 65-plus. To schedule an appointment, call 740-441-2018, 740-441-2950, or 740-441-2951. The health department stresses a scheduled appointment is required to receive the vaccine. The health department has stated vaccines are limited at this time and staff asks those calling for an appointment to be patient as they answer as many calls as possible.)