COVID-19 vaccination update
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I write to share an overview of the current available information about how the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed under the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Ohio.
Supplies of the vaccine remain low, and manufacturers are ramping up production. At this time, Ohio is scheduled to receive a total of 100,000 doses per week, which represents less than 1% of the state’s total population. We expect that additional vaccine manufacturers will be approved in the coming weeks, which will add to vaccine supply. Because of the limited availability, the early distribution is being phased in according to priority populations, which are detailed below.
Like the flu vaccine, we expect that eventually you will be able to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 through a variety of providers, including hospitals, retail pharmacies and health departments, depending on your health insurance, your medical provider, your location in the state and other factors. Including the Schottenstein Center, there are 60 COVID-19 vaccination locations in Franklin County alone and more are planned to be added.
We are working in close coordination with Governor Mike DeWine as well as state and local health experts. We will continue to share updates, and the latest information is also on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website. We will be holding a series of virtual town halls on COVID-19 the first Monday of each month through April. The first town hall is Monday, February 1, at 5:30 p.m. and will focus on information about the vaccine. We will share details of how to join the town halls soon – through the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website and onCampus.
Below is a summary of the current plans for vaccine distribution by the Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, along with general information and links for further vaccine information and guidelines from the state of Ohio. For those living outside Columbus, the state has created an online tool to help Ohioans identify vaccine distribution sites in their communities. Additional information about the state’s vaccine distribution plan is available on the Ohio Department of Health website.
The initial phase of distribution at the Wexner Medical Center is nearly complete and focused on health care personnel, support employees (e.g., environmental services, security, etc.) and health sciences students who provide patient care, consistent with state and federal guidance.
Vaccination scheduling opportunities will follow the state’s phased distribution plan. The time frames below are subject to change based on vaccine availability.
- As of January 19, the Wexner Medical Center has begun vaccinating members of the general public who are 80 years of age and older.
- As of January 25, vaccinations can start for people aged 75-79; scheduling for these appointments begins this weekend.
- On February 1, the vaccination window for people aged 70-74 will open.
- On February 8, the vaccination window for people aged 65-69 will open.
The state also has plans to begin vaccinating patients with certain severe congenital and developmental disorders that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease and student-facing employees of K-12 schools in the coming weeks.
As more information becomes available on when additional populations can receive a vaccine, we will communicate this information to you, and the state will share it publicly at coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.
For those individuals currently eligible to receive a vaccine, an appointment is required, and the option to schedule an appointment is only available once the criteria are met.
Eligible Wexner Medical Center patients who have seen a provider in the last three years will receive an automated phone call, a MyChart email and/or regular mail with details on how and when to schedule. Eligible Wexner Medical Center patients are encouraged to schedule an appointment through their MyChart account. Individuals who are not patients of the Wexner Medical Center or those who do not have a MyChart account can call 614-688-VAXX (8299) for assistance. Vaccinations will take place at the Schottenstein Center. More information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the Wexner Medical Center website.
While this progress is promising, it remains critically important to keep following public health protocols – even if you receive the vaccine. That means continuing to wear masks, practicing physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and consistently cleaning your hands. Together As Buckeyes, we will continue to do our part to have a safe and healthy spring semester – and beyond.
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD