As state officials and local health departments roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Mike DeWine has asked the state’s Area Agencies on Aging to help direct older Ohioans to their nearest provider. For southeast Ohio, that agency is Buckeye Hills Regional Council.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council’s Information and Assistance team is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-331-2644 to answer questions about the vaccine and help individuals connect to local vaccine providers in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington counties. Buckeye Hills is also sharing regular updates on its website at buckeyehills.org/vaccine-information and on its social media pages.
“It’s our priority to help as many seniors get vaccinated as possible,” said Jennifer Westfall, Buckeye Hills Regional Council Aging and Disability Director. “We are continually gathering the latest information across the eight counties we serve, so that we can direct people who call our number for help.”
Under Phase 1B of Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, about 2.2 million Ohioans will become eligible to receive their first dose of the vaccine this month and early next month, according to the following timeline:
- The week of January 19: Ohioans 80 years of age and older.
- The week of January 25: Ohioans 75 years of age and older; those with severe congenital or developmental disorders.
- The week of February 1: Ohioans 70 years of age and older; employees of K-12 schools that wish to remain or return to in-person or hybrid models.
- The week of February 8: Ohioans 65 years of age and older.
When a new age group begins, vaccinations may still be ongoing for the previous age group. It will take a number of weeks to distribute all of the vaccine given the limited doses available. This phased approach is in an effort to combat the high rate of mortality among older adults. Ohio Department of Health data shows that 87% of all deaths in the state of Ohio have occurred in individuals 65 years and older.
While many people are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, health departments and other vaccine providers are encouraging patience as demand for the vaccine remains higher than the available supply. With vaccine providers receiving new information weekly regarding the amount and brand of vaccine they will receive distribution plans may change from week to week.
In additional to calling Buckeye Hills Regional Council, individuals can also use the Ohio Department of Health’s new Vaccine Provider Location tool to look up the locations and contact information for vaccine providers by county and zip code at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. It is important to call or visit the website of a provider in advance to make arrangements to be vaccinated by ensuring the provider is conducting vaccinations at a designated time and place. Each vaccine provider is managing its own schedule and appointments.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council is a council of governments dedicated to improving the lives of residents in southeast Ohio and is one of 12 Area Agencies on Aging in Ohio, responding to the needs of older adults. In southeast Ohio, BHRC provides education, information, and referral services while also working with the public and private sectors to help older adults with home and community-based long-term care.
To learn more about Buckeye Hills Regional Council, and for assistance, and referral services, visit www.buckeyehills.org , call 740-374-9436 or 1-800-331-2644 (toll free), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council is a council of governments dedicated to improving the lives of residents in southeast Ohio. By working collaboratively with elected officials across Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington counties, Buckeye Hills connects local, state, and federal resources to communities with their Aging & Disability, Community Development, Mapping & Data, Population Health, and Transportation Planning divisions.